Parasol’s Style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe

From Nola Cuisine

This recipe like many others on Nola Cuisine is written for folks like myself who love the food of New Orleans, but are too far away to walk out their door and have someone else do the cookin’. I’ve had a hunger for a Roast Beef from Parasol’s ever since my trip last March, but since I live in Michigan, this is a major problem, so I decided to put together a recipe to make my own, based on the video below of Parasol’s owner Jeff Carreras making the Po Boy at the restaurant.

I made a recipe based on what I saw, although pared down so that it will work for the home cook. This isn’t a fancy recipe, but I would say most authentic in it’s preparation to what you will find in a lot of neighborhood restaurants in New Orleans, the first bite took me right to Parasol’s in the Irish Channel.

I am totally aware that the host in this clip from the food network is a total Stooge, but this little video is a god send. The owner of Parasol’s graciously shows us how to make their Roast Beef Po Boy, granted we have to listen to that bleach blonde goon yammer through the whole video, but it is almost worth it. This is an unpretentious, neighborhood recipe. Some may lift their nose to the Kitchen Bouquet and some of the preparation, I swayed a little myself, but the end result is totally authentic. Try it for yourself, you’ll be moanin’ in your seat with a land fills worth of gravy stained napkins around you. I promise.

A note on New Orleans French Bread, or Po Boy Bread. I was fortunate enough recently to locate an acceptable substitute for New Orleans Po Boy or French Bread at a local market. Not exact mind you, but it has a lot of the same characteristics, Crisp, yet chewy Crust, soft center, cotton candy-like as it is often called, and just the right size. I’ve tried and tried over the years to create a recipe that is close, but I’m on hiatus from that mission for the time being. You wouldn’t believe the amount of emails I receive asking if I have the magic recipe. Not yet, sorry.

From Nola Cuisine

The object of the Po Boy Bread in this recipe is to make the eating experience as messy as possible. During your first bite the sandwich should flatten somewhat and your hands (as well as chin and possibly clothing) should be awash with gravy, beef debris, mayonnaise and possibly a few shreds of lettuce as the contents spray from the sides as if the sandwich was stepped on. Relax and enjoy, resist the urge to reach for that over sized stack of napkins until the last morsel is gone. In my humble opinion, the best Roast Beef Po Boys in New Orleans are judged by the amount of napkins used to clean up the aftermath.

This post is for my good friend Bill Moran, who unfortunately is laid up in the hospital in Corpus Christi. I wish I was close enough to bring you one of these my friend, I hope you get home soon.

Parasol’s Style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe

For the Beef:
2 lbs Beef Round, I used a bottom round Roast
Water, enough to cover by one inch in a dutch oven

For the Gravy:

1/2 Cup Flour
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder (must be powder, not granulated)
1 tsp Black Pepper
2 tsp Kosher Salt
1/4 Cup Oil
1 tsp Kitchen Bouquet
3 Cups Broth, reserved from the boiled beef (maybe more if your gravy gets too thick)

Bring the water to a rolling boil. Add the beef roast, when the pot comes back to a boil, reduce the heat to medium to medium high, you should have a heavy simmer. Cook for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the liquid and refrigerate until cold. Reserve about five cups of the broth, you won’t need all of it, but keep some to thin the gravy out if necessary.

While the beef is cooling make the gravy.

Bring 3 cups of the reserved cooking liquid to a boil in a small saucepan.
In a small bowl whisk together the flour, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, then the oil and kitchen bouquet, when thoroughly blended, whisk the mixture into the boiling broth, whisk together well, and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. If necessary add a little of the reserved broth if the gravy is too thick. It should be. not too thick, not too thin. Let the gravy simmer for 20-30 minutes adjust for seasonings, it should have a good amount of salt as the beef has none.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.
When the beef is cold, slice it as thin as possible and lay the slices in a 9X9 baking pan. The thicker your slices are, the longer it will take in the oven, so slice thin. or your hungry ass will be waiting. :-)

Cover the beef with 2-3 cups of the gravy. Place into the oven 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the beef is fall apart tender.

For the Po Boy:

2 ten inch French Loaves, see article above
Mayonnaise
2 Tomatoes, sliced
2 Cups shredded Iceburg Lettuce
1 Dill Pickle, sliced
The Roast Beef from the above recipe

Slice the bread in half lengthwise and lay both halves side by side. Slather a bunch of mayonnaise on both sides (I’ll be the cholesterol devil on your shoulder: Come on, your doctor’s not lookin’, don’t be stingy!).

On the top half, add pickle slices, tomato slices, and 1 Cup of the lettuce. On the bottom half, add 1/2 of the beef and gravy mixture (please note, I super-sized the amount of beef in this recipe). Fold the top over the side with the beef and put on a sheet pan. Repeat with the second sandwich. Place the sheet pan in the oven for 2-3 minutes to crisp and warm the bread.

Cut each sandwich in half and serve on paper plates for authenticity. Serve with your favorite cold beer, Barq’s in a bottle, Zapp’s chips, and a big ole’ pile of napkins. Enjoy!

Serves 2 hungry eating machines, or 4 light weights.

From Nola Cuisine
From Nola Cuisine

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which links to all of the recipes featured on this site!

Related Posts:

Parasol’s Restaurant & Bar
Roast Beef Po Boy with Debris Gravy Recipe

38 thoughts on “Parasol’s Style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe”

  1. Can’t wait to give this a try. There are a couple of places down here in Lower Alabama (LA for short) that sell some New Orleans French bread. Not cheep, but worth it in order to get the real thing.

  2. Wow that looks great. Absolutely beautiful. The recipe sounds a little suspect, though. How did it taste?

  3. Hey, Danno. Wondered when you would get around to this when I first read your Parasol post a while back. I’ve gone and done the same thing myself with real good results. Was lickin my elbows!

    Around here, when we need something close to Louisiana French bread, we hit any Asian farmer’s market that has a Viet Namese bakery. Their French bread has that same ethereal inside with the explosively flaky outside that we crave.

  4. DDD is my favorite show on Food Network. I love it that they go find all these places where real, good food is cooked and give the owners of these places some well deserved publicity and recognition. Guy seems to act like a know it all dick in this segment, but usually I find him very entertaining, funny, and gracious/complementary toward the guests on the show.

    I make Roast Beef Po Boy starting with roasting bones and vegetables use to make stock, then cooking the meat forever until it just falls apart. It takes about 24 hours from start to finish. This sure seems easier and the difference in the finished product may not be enough to justify all the extra effort. I’m gonna have to try it to find out.

    Your pics are making my mouth water. Keep up the good work Danno.

  5. Oh. My. God. That looks phenomenal. Ever since I moved to Austin, TX from Slidell, LA I have been missing food like CRAZY. Especially my roast beef poboy. If I can find some bread, I am making this post haste.

  6. Why on earth would anybody only make 2 pounds of this at a time. While an entire inside round my be alot, making only 2 pounds is a tease. This could be my go to meal for watching football this fall. Love your website. Thank you!

  7. I also live in Michigan–North of Detroit–and I’m curious where you’re getting your bread…

    Love your site, by the way.

  8. Danno, looks like your clothes and hands weren’t the only thing awash in gravy. Your camera must have gotten too close to the Hellman’s and got some on your lens!

    I’m preparing this again, with your recipe this time to compare. I know it’ll be great!

  9. Danno,

    Thanks for another great recipe. I saw this on D3 and was curious, but your posting about this recipe validated it for me.

    I am boiling 2 lbs. of bottom round as we speak. At least there is no roux to burn this time. :)

    On another, more important note, I am sorry to hear of the passing of your friend Bill. I hope all’s well.

    Regards, your email bud,

    Tim

  10. I was looking for ideas for dinner. Just spent four day’s in bed with the flu. This brought tears of joy to my eyes.. If your reading this, i have gravy running down my pj’s.

  11. I made this last night with a 4lb round. It was so tender! I got about 5 cups of gravy out of this recipe, maybe I like it more thin, but it seemed to be getting extremely thick with 1/2 cup flour. Regardless, it was good. Make sure you use all the salt. I admit, I skimped a bit and needed to add more after I took it out of the oven.

    Thanks!

  12. I made this for the first time last month and it was heaven, exactly as you described. I usually do a much more involved recipe for roast beef po’boys with debris but this was perfect for a weeknight, with some liberties taken prepwise.
    I cooked the roast overnite in a crockpot and let it & the stock cool in the fridge. Then, when I got home from work I sliced the roast & made the gravy then sent everything into the oven as outlined. Cooking the roast in the crock pot means that it falls apart when you try to slice it but it also means that it’s spending a lot less time in the oven with the gravy. Since the beef is already falling apart it basically just needs to heat through & then the oven is already warm for crisping the sandwiches. Maybe a half hour from walking through the door to sandwich paradise on the table.

    Anyway, bottom round is on sale this week so you know what we’re having for dinner tomorrow.

  13. I may try this recipe but I probably will salt the water before adding the beef to cook. Why wait until the beef is cooked before seasoning? I cook a lot and do cook pot roast and always season first. But the rest of the recipe sounds great. Thanks

  14. Danno, I made this tonight and it is “off the hook”. Very good work Danno. Last month I had a RB poboy at both Parkway and Parasol’s and Parkways is richer similar to you other RB poboy recipe made with stock. This version is “light” like Parasol’s. We had them on bolillos (Mexican bread). It is my current favorite from poboys. I recently switched to it from the Vietnamese bread. I really wish I had proper bread.

  15. Regretfully I just moved back to Va from the Warehouse district in New Orleans, so needless to say I was sort of a regular at Parasol’s. I nearly cried when I found this recipe on your site (the sight of a mudbug makes me teary these days) and was doubtful the result would be anything similar to that of Parasol’s…boy was I wrong! I can not thank you enough for providing this recipe and allowing me to reminisce a bit over the city that has stolen my heart.

    p.s, pour the gravy over french fries and melt a load of cheddar cheese over top like the rest. does…to die for.

  16. I just made this recipe the other day and it turned out amazing! I served them to my parents, who are both Louisiana natives as well as I am, and we all agree that this recipe is one of the best roast beef po boys we’ve ever eaten. Great work Danno; love the recipe and the site!

  17. I have everything for this recipe except the Kitchen Bouquet, which is a product that I have never heard of before and honestly don’t know if it’s available in my area (Ann Arbor, MI). What does it add to the recipe (flavor? color?) and is there a substitute if I can’t find the real deal? From what I have read on the web, it seems it is more for adding a brown color and little flavor. Any feedback would be great!

  18. just to add one mo` thang to the recipe.a tsp. of zatarain`s liquid
    crab & shrimp boil. it turns it into a oooh la la … my cajun friend
    turned me on to this years ago,it will blow your taste buds mind…

  19. OMG!!!! I have been looking for a recipe like this for a long time! I had one at a lil place in Mississippi while I was driving over the road. My mouth has never been so happy! I cant wait to try this out!!! Thank you!!!

  20. It has been years since I had a sloppy po’ boy at Parasol’s.
    You need a lot of paper towels for these.

  21. Well the bread will be next to impossible for any one not in the New Orleans area.New Orleans Po Boy style French Bread is unique because we are below sea level and the water and humidity.I would recommend a soft bagguette or crusty sour dough as the closest substitute

  22. Why the powdered garlic and not granulated?

    It is basically the same product no? It might take a bit less granulated garlic to equal the same flavor of powdered. Also the granulated would require a bit more cooking time to break down the granules, but in the recipe it simmers then cooks in the oven so i don’t see how that could matter.

    Is there something I am missing?

  23. Duncan – The granulated garlic makes the gravy grainy. Trust me on this one, I made the mistake of using it when testing the recipe.

  24. The beef just goes into the water without being browner? How does it get that nice brown gravy? I miss po boys, we are in Tenn. since the storm. We will just have to settle for hoagie buns! Thanks for the recipe!

  25. This was a perfect meal to go with a bottle of ice cold Barq’s and a bag of Zapp’s. Topped it off with some ice cold watermelon for dessert. Thanks!

  26. I was skeptical, having made gravy from scratch using a roux for so many years. This recipe is an outstanding representation of an authentic New Orleans Roast Beef Po Boy.

    Two thumbs up!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  27. The bread from Parasol looks a lot like Cuban Bread, as you describe the texture of the bread.

    My advise to come as close to the bread is to use compressed yeast, believe me it makes a difference. Active dry yeast or instant dry yeast don’t act the same as compressed yeast.

    I have used both Active and Instant for years, never got a good consistency. I tried compressed and it made a great difference.

  28. NP – The slicing is going to be tough with the round steak but you can definitely make it work. The braise in the gravy will just take longer, slice as thin as possible. Round Steak has phenomenal flavor after all! Just be patient and wait until the meat is tender.

  29. the arrival of that food network stooge eventually lead to the ruin of the best roast beef po-boy in NOLA …. the place got on the national map & is now under new ownership. the food there is still good. but it is NOT as good – or the same in any way. boooo. SO – I am really glad you posted this recipe! I am going to try it out. I MISS IT SO! the previous owners opened a new place – Tracey’s, down the street. Again, food is good, but not as good. The holy grail of Parasol’s / best RB Po Poboy is no more.

  30. Can I boil the meat and prepare the gravy tonight, keep them separate in the fridge until tomorrow night and finish the last step at that time? I want to serve this tomorrow but won’t have the time.

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