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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

Parasol’s Restaurant and Bar

From Parasol's

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! The annual block party begins at Parasol’s on Constance & Third in the Irish Channel at 11:00 a.m.!! I wish I could be there.

Parasol’s Restaurant & Bar
2533 Constance Street
New Orleans, LA 70130

Parasol’s Restaurant & Bar, like any respectable neighborhood restaurant in New Orleans doesn’t look like a place that you would consider eating. Drinking absolutely, eating no.

From Parasol's

And let me say that this is one of the great drinking establishments in New Orleans, a wonderful hole in the wall bar, almost always packed with locals and whomever else happens to walk or stumble through the door.

From Parasol's

The kind of Irish Pub with hand written signs that say things like “A 20% gratuity will be added to any credit cards left at the bar. You Drunks!!” This one made me laugh because in my past, I have to admit…guilty as charged. It’s always good to be in a town where you’re among friends.

From Parasol's

Running parallel with the bar, on the other side of the wall is a somewhat dingy little dining room (I say that with the utmost respect and actually as a compliment), where in my humble opinion, the BEST Roast Beef Po Boy (my Parasol’s style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe) is served. Detractors can go nuts in the comments section if you like, this is a hot debate, but Parasol’s serves the kind that I like, Roast Beef that is just obliterated from long slow cooking in a rich gravy, smothered with mayonaise, some tomatoes, pickles and lettuce; dressed that is. And that bread! Light as can be, yet chewy, with a crust that is beyond imagine!

From Parasol's

Now the fun starts. This is also the messiest sandwich I have ever eaten, hats off. From my first bite I was awash in debris, mayo, gravy, up to my elbows. I actually ran out of napkins and had to clean myself by rolling around in a small patch of grass I found on Constance. I’m exaggerating of course, but you know what I mean, good sloppy eating in one of the most colorful little Irish bars I’ve ahd the pleasure of visiting.

Speaking of which, tomorrow being St Patrick’s Day, this is the place to be in the city, they annually host a block party that begins at 11:00 a.m. and runs all day long! Wish I was there! Here are some pics of the block party on their website.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!!

Gaston from The New Orleans Creole and Cajun Cuisine Blog sent us this video which shows the owner of Parasol’s making their famous Roast Beef. They should have given the host a Po Boy to keep him from talking so much through the video, that clown annoys me. (**Update – Upon my second viewing of this video, I’ve concluded that this guy from the Food Network, is THE biggest stooge on TV! Larry, Moe, Curly, Shemp, and even the elusive Curly Joe, have nothing on this guy.) Thanks for the link Gaston, and keep up the great blogging! Here is the video:

Related Posts:

Parasol’s Style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe
Roast Beef Po Boy with Debris Gravy Recipe

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

Roast Beef Po’ Boy with Debris Gravy Recipe

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
Cayenne
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)
Mayonnaise
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