Roast Beef Po’ Boy with Debris Gravy Recipe

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There is nothing quite as soul satisfying (or messy) than a good old Roast Beef Po’ Boy in New Orleans. The best way to judge a good one is by the number of napkins you used to keep your chin semi-dry (Seriously, make sure you are stocked up on napkins.) My favorite place in New Orleans for a Roast Beef Po’ Boy is Parasol’s in the Irish Channel.

Like all other Po’ Boys, the most important ingredient isn’t the filling (although that is important as well, don’t get me wrong), but the bread. New Orleans Po’ Boy Bread, or Long Bread is light in the center with a wonderful flaky crust. It is almost impossible to find outside of New Orleans, which is why I’m working on a recipe for it, the one in the photo is my 3rd draft, it turned out very, very good, it just needs to be tweaked.

For my Creole Roast Beef I use an inexpensive, well marbled Chuck Roast, which is from the shoulder. Very tough, but extremely flavorful. I’ve found that braising works best for this cut, nice and slow. I did 4 hours, the object is for the meat to just fall apart…not by breathing on it, that would still be too tough, but by just looking at it. About a 10 second stare should do the trick.

I’ve found that I like a mixture of Beef Stock, Chicken Stock, and water for my braising liquid. The reason I don’t use straight Beef Stock is that I make an extremely rich one, and I reduce my gravy instead of using a thickening agent. When all is said and done, the gravy was just too much of a good thing, too intense. This way comes out just right. Extremely Beefy and delicious!
Here is the recipe:

Roast Beef Po’ Boy with Debris Gravy Recipe

For the Roast:
1 Beef Chuck Roast (this one was 2 ½ pounds)
2 Garlic Cloves thinly sliced
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt & Black Pepper
3 Tbsp Lard or Vegetable Oil
1 Small Onion, Diced
1 Small Carrot, Diced
1 Cup Beef Stock
1 Cup Chicken Stock
Water if necessary
2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp Hot Sauce
2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme
1 Fresh Bay Leaf
Kosher Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Cut small slits into the roast, about every 3 inches, try not to pierce all the way to the bottom. Stuff the sliced garlic into the slits.
Season the Roast very liberally on all sides with the Salt & Black Pepper, season with Cayenne to your taste, I don’t use much.
Heat the fat in a heavy bottomed Dutch Oven over high heat, when the oil starts to smoke, wait a few more seconds, then carefully add the Roast cut side down. Brown very well on all sides, without burning it. Remove to a plate.
Drain off all but 1 Tbsp of the fat in the pan, add the onions and carrots, cook until the onions just start to brown, place the roast back in the pan, then add the stocks. Finish, if necessary, with enough water to bring the cooking liquid 3/4 of the way up the roast. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then back down to a simmer. Simmer covered for 3-4 hours or until the meat falls apart by staring at it.

For the Debris Gravy:
Carve the meat into very thin slices, it will be hard to do and will fall apart, that is good. All of the bits and pieces, that fall off are your Debris (pronounced DAY-bree.) Add all of the bits and chunks to you cooking liquid after skimming off the fat from the surface, keep the carved meat with a little liquid on a warm plate, covered tightly with plastic wrap. Bring the gravy to a full boil and reduce until it coats the back of a spoon. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the Po’ Boy:
New Orleans Style French Bread (Po’ Boys are generally about 9-10 inches long per sandwich. As you can see I made mine a bit smaller, shame on me.) Cut the bread 3/4 of the way through leaving a hinge (as seen in the background of the pic.) I find the hinge makes for slightly, easier eating.
Shredded Lettuce (or Cabbage a la Mothers)
Roast Beef (see above)
Debris Gravy

Slather the bread with a very generous portion of Mayonnaise on the inside of the upper and lower halves. Place about a cup of Shredded Lettuce on the bottom half. Cover the lettuce with a generous portion of the “sliced” Beef. Drown the beef with Debris Gravy.

Grab a stack of napkins, a cold beer and enjoy!

**Note – To make this a Ferdi Special a la Mother’s, add Good quality sliced ham underneath the Beef!

This Roast will make about 4 very generous Po’ Boys.

Other New Orleans Sandwich Recipes:

Muffuletta Olive Salad Recipe
Muffuletta Bread Recipe
Muffuletta Sandwich Recipe

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60 thoughts on “Roast Beef Po’ Boy with Debris Gravy Recipe”

  1. “the object is for the meat to just fall apart…not by breathing on it, that would still be too tough, but by just looking at it. About a 10 second stare should do the trick.”

    That’s great! I’m going to link to this recipe. I’m going to use the picture, too. It just looks too delicious.

  2. I just tried the recipe for Mother’s roast beef “debris” sandwich, it turned out great… thanks for the recipe…

  3. I would like to know where to get authentic french bread from New Orleans. Even a recipe would be nice. Po Boys aren’t authentically New Orleans unless you make them with the delicious kind made in New Orleans. Can you help me? A recipe would be nice.

  4. The chuck roast with debris gravy, po’ boy sandwich is a great recipe! Make sure you heed author’s advice to skim fat off of pan juices.

  5. Need a poboy bread recipe. From N.O., but live out of state. nedd recipe to use for Saints’ playoff game & SAINTS’ super bowl party. Can u help? GO SAINTS!!!!

  6. THANK YOU for this wonderful recipe! We’re going to make Debris Po’Boys for the playoff game today — GEAUX SAINTS!!!

  7. Your sandwich looks awesome. Can hardly wait to try it. Could I get the recipe for the po boy bread? Thanks!

  8. I live in Houston & REALLY miss New Orlean’s food. I grew up in Chalmette and would “kill” for a “Rocky & Carlo’s” po-boy or veal parmesan & baked macaroni & cheese dinner. Does anyone know if there is any way to get french bread or any other foods shipped from there yet? Chisesi’s boiled ham? No one here even knows what boiled ham is… Thanks

  9. I was looking for a beef stock recipe and found your site which I think is awesome.

    Checked out your po’boy recipe and since I had everything needed, I made it. It was WONDERFUL!!!!!!! It’s a easy recipe, and tasted great.

    I cant wait to make it again.

  10. my family sure miss the po’boys from the spur gas stations just can’t get the good french bread anywhere but new orleans!

  11. We had this delicious Po’ Boy for dinner. This is such a great recipe.
    I used a mixture of shredded iceberg lettuce and shredded cabbage. I didn’t know what else to do with the chuck roast and am bored with the same ol’ pot roast. This was a hit. I toasted the French bread on a pan before putting the sandwich together.

  12. This sounds very much like how my Mom and Grandma make Pot Roast back home in North Carolina.

  13. We are having this for dinner tonight!! Yum! My daughter is living in Utah and misses our ‘real’ food. I will forward this to her.

  14. Man-O-Man-O-Man,

    I saw this a few weeks ago just after commenting to the wife that I hadn’t had a GOOD roast beef poboy in years. I am a born and raised New Orleanian and still reside here. Recipe looked good and thought I’d give it a try. ( I do QUITE a bit of cooking). This is truly one of the best EVER roast beef sandwich recipe’s !!!! I fed 3 sons and 2 friends ( cooked 6 lbs. of roast)besides the wife and I, and each and every one of them wanted to know when I was going to make it again. Can’t say enough about it..simply outstanding !!!!!

  15. Oh and by the way…the bread does make a huge difference !!
    Not too long ago had a restaurant try to sell me a roast beef poboy on bun!? Can’t see how it would be a poboy when served on bun…but hey go figure. Needless to say I passed on it and thats what brought me here.

  16. Good receipe..Best Roast beef poboy is at Parasols in the irish channel..CORNER OF THIRD AND CONSTANCE…WITH A COLD ABITA DRAFT,….

  17. Sooo good! Made this for my hubby today and he asked for seconds!!! Thank you so much! I’ve shared your site with several friends.

  18. We made this for our Mardi Gras Party this year and it was soooo good. Many revelers have alreayd requested the recipe. We will definitely bookmark this recipe for next year. Do you have a good gumbo recipe?

  19. Thanks for another great recipe…We used to always get po-boys at Danny and Clyde’s or Short stop. Sure miss them. And you’re right, I’ve been all over and you can’t get the bread anywhere else.

  20. Loved the recipe, one suggestion. Teh second time I made it I coated the roast in a little seasoned flour before browning it. This makes the gravy just a little thicker.

  21. I’ve made the beef po’ boys on numerous occassions, always with rave reviews. Thanks for a great recipe. The only thing I do differently is I add a tablespoon of creole seasoning while its cooking. GREAT!
    Does anyone know of anyplace I can order authentic po’ boy bread?

  22. Me to!! Please advise where I may order NOLA REAL french bread to make the Roast Beef Po Boys. I could try to make my own but not so good at the bread making.

    I have a craving for a really great Roast Beef Po Boy.

    Thanking you in advance for your help and quick response.

  23. I grew up in metry and miss the old short stop on transcontinental, it was gone way before katrina and so was I. In a town where RB PO BOY’s are a daily occurrance, it does amaze me how abundant average PoBoy’s are.
    So find your favorite. Mine is Bears in Covington and Mandeville. Also CrabbyJacks,Mandina’s but its hard to order one with everything on the menu. But since I am in Dallas, I still make my own. By the way, the mexican food mart Fiesta, bakes Bollio’s and they are short versions of real french bread. At least very very close. FYI

  24. I lived in New Orleans for 33 years and this is an amazing Poboy. My husband gave it a 10. I cooked it for 4 hours also.

  25. i lived in ycloskey, south of chalmette in 1978 for a few months. is there still a resturant named mutt’s there?

  26. “My favorite place in New Orleans for a Roast Beef Po’ Boy (and Turtle Soup for that matter) is Mother’s on Poydras.”

    You’re kidding, right? You must not be a local as we know that Mother’s roast beef po boys are not that good at all.

    In fact most things at Mother’s would not sell good outside the French Quarter and they would go out of business within six months.

    If it were not for the tourist, Mother’s would close down because the locals know the food is not worth the price they charge.

    If you truly want a great roast beef po boy try R& O’s out in Buck Town by the lake. They make there own roast beef and french bread daily.

    Also Crabbyjacks makes a good roast beef po boy but still not as good as R & O’s is.

  27. For the Crescent City EXPATS…

    if you are looking for good french bread…
    and have a Vietnamese community near by,
    the Viets make a darn good french loaf…
    thanks to the Colonial French occupation…

    normally a short loaf at about 10″ to 11″ or so…
    but they do make normal sized loaves also…

    spelled “banh,” which is pronounced “bun”

    BTW, the viet Banh based sandwiches are very good in their own right IMHO..

    certainly not a softshell crab or roast beef po-boy… but a very tasty alternative….

  28. I grew up on the westbank. Eating Danny and CLydes roast beef po boys. For years I have wanted to mimic a New Orleans Roast beef Po Boy ..finally i have foudn the best recipe hands down!

    I just finished enjoying my best ever home made po boy all the way in Northern Italy.

    Thanks for sharing a bit of New Orleans with the rest of the world! I will be making this for my Italian Friends hehe.

  29. I grew up in the Irish Channel and ate at Parasol’s regularly. Roast beef poboy dressed, a Barq’s root beer, and half a roll of paper towels was always the order. As a kid, we always wore old clothes there because we would be covered in the gravy after a few bites. I was really good at licking the mixture of gravy and mayonaisse (pronounced mynez) off my arm. The only poboy that comes close to theirs is at Bear’s in Covington which is where i live now. I’m lookin forward to giving your recipe a try. It sounds great! I have to agree that Mother’s is for tourists and Parasol’s is for locals. Afterall, the locals know what a true poboy tastes like. As for da bread, toasted Leidenheimer’s was always our choice for homemade poboys.

    Terry aka ThemaniacalRN

  30. I see people asking for the french bread receipe. I don’t live New Orleans anymore and do miss the food. What I have found that comes close to New Orleans french bread is the Pepperidge Farms, Hot and Crusty Twin French bread. Make sure you sprinkle the top with water before baking to make it crusty.
    Also, making any kind of beef roast in a slow cooker makes great roast beef bo boys.

  31. Hey ! you hit the bulls eye with this one.try this add 1/2 tsp.
    zatarans liquid crab spice when you cook it.YA !YA !
    i had it like that awile in N.O. last year and it knocked your socks off.

  32. Amazingly good, I have made it at least twice a year since ’07. I made one change though. I was short on stock so I poured one of my homebrewed Baltic porters into it and it made a big difference. You should try it if you get a chance, it’s a real roasty, and malty beer and supports the flavors nicely. In case you can’t find a Baltic Porter, substitute a Russian Imperial Stout or a Dopplebock.


  33. I grew up in N.O. and used to go to Martin Brothers Original Po-Boy Restaurant on St. Claude Ave. (I’m talking about 60 years ago), to eat their Po-Boy sandwich at night after a date. They were the original po-boy restaurant for roast beef and they used sliced roast beef, not the kind in your picture, and plenty of gravy. They also made shrimp, soft-shell crab and combination(cheese and ham) po-boys. They were the BEST!!

  34. //NolaCO —

    You’re right about Vietnamese places having good French stuff.

    Years ago I spent a few months in Houston. About the only places you could buy coffee and chicory dark roast New Orleans coffee–CDM particularly–was in the Vietnamese groceries.

  35. Wow great post! IT looks like you a fantastic meal on your hands. I highly recommend my client La Cense Beef when it comes to organic beef and Steak recipes. They truly are a treat!

  36. Did you know that Gambino’s bakery ships their french bread to you!!?? You can order from them online and they send you french bread!!!!!!!! You can also order it from but I have only ordered from Gambino’s seeing as I know their bakery and being born and raised in New Orleans… its traditional! After I married an Army soldier and had to move away I have become pretty good at finding what I need when I need it!!

  37. Often you can find pretty good bread at a Vietnamese sandwich shop. Seems odd, but Vietnam was a French colony for long enough that the bread became a mainstay cultural food. I usually get it for about $1.50 a loaf, and the loaves are about 2 1/2 feet long.

  38. Hi – I am so thrilled to find New Orleans reciepes on the web. I saw born and raised in N.O. long ago, in the good old days. I ate my first Muffuletta at the Central Grocery when I was working in N.O. I moved to Texas when I retired to be near family, but I never forgot the Muffuletta or other foods, and look for it wherever I go, but only recently found it in one of the grovery store here. NO COMPARISON. Thanks for the reciepe so I can have more often. I was originally looking for how to make the olive salad, but your site was the only one I could find it on. I still cook like I cooked in N.O. for my family. Plan on cooking some for our family reunion this July for the rest of the family who come. I am keeping your site up front from now on. God Bless

  39. Having grown up in New Orleans I have had my share of good Roast Beef poboys, but I must admit your recipe was one of the best. We followed your instructions to the letter, producing a treat far beyond or expectations, tasty tender meat covered with a perfect gravy with debris. The Vietnamese bread was a great alternative. Thank you, Mike-Atlanta

  40. It’s obvious the picture wasn’t taken at Parasol’s. It’s got a plate!! I love them at Parkview.


  42. Making this again. Last time was the first time and my wife cleaned the pan with the extra bread. Toughest part is the 4 hrs that I smell it cooking. Excellent recipe and easy to make. Thanx!

  43. Don’t know if you check on your posts when they’re this old, but you said you were working on a recipe for the New Orleans Po’ Boy Bread, or Long Bread, and it needed some tweaking. Did you ever finish the recipe and is it posted somewhere on your blog that I can’t find???


  44. PLEASE – I am begging for your bread recipe. I love making bread… by hand! No bread machine in my house. I would love to know how to make the NO style french bread. I have had no luck replicating.

  45. You can’t beat this recipe. I add some beer to the stock and use a little more garlic.But that’s just my personal taste. We have a Portugese bakery here and we get their grinder rolls fresh from the oven.
    This is a great recipe. Keep it up Danno

  46. just finished this recipe, tried to be patient and reduce the sauce gave up & use a little roux, still turned out great. reminds me of a place in Monroe Ray’s PeeGee’s.sory about the roux just impatient 😉
    lost in the corn

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