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Parkway Bakery & Tavern Style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…the first meal I go to off of the plane when I get to New Orleans is a sloppy Roast Beef Po Boy, it simply says “home” to me. I just recently saw a facebook southern foodie friend go into Parasol’s for a Roast Beef and received a comment along the lines of “why did you go to the gulf coast for Roast beef?”

The answer, dear reader, is that it is the quintessential Po Boy and sandwich of New Orleans. It’s a neighborhood specialty that folks grew up on, sitting in a dark tavern or pub with the odor of stale beer omnipresent, music moaning from a tinny jukebox or half assed speaker system. To be honest, and probably no secret to anyone with eyes, the place is probably not that clean. The conversation in the room could come from anyone… bums, judges, good time charlies, tourists, lawyers, construction workers or a group of high school kids in for a bite after school.

A neighborhood restaurant.

Everyone’s welcome and everyone is there.

Maybe the reason I make that meal my first one is to step into some real local color.

Then again, maybe it’s just the sandwich.

When done right it’s loaded with fall apart Roast Beef, waves of gravy made ever more creamy by generous slatherings of Mayonnaise, the first bite makes the French Bread and the sandwich collapse, leaving you elbow deep in gravy with fringes of shredded lettuce and pieces of tomato and pickle hanging from your wrist.

Don’t worry, nobody’s looking…or I should say, nobody’s judging. It’s all part of the experience. Enjoy. Relax.

It seems these days there are two camps of Roast Beef Po Boy enthusiasts as these neighborhood joints are a dying breed. Parasol’s and Parkway. I’ll take them both, each a little different, each on the high side of what I think of as a Roast Beef Po Boy. Good bread, good gravy, fall apart meat, and good local color as company.

This is my humble nod to the Parkway Bakery & Tavern Roast Beef Po Boy, I’ve gathered a few secrets from this article:

In Judy’s Kitchen Parkway Roast Beef Po Boy

Parkway Bakery & Tavern
538 Hagan Ave
New Orleans, LA 70119

I put my own spin on this recipe for those who aren’t close enough to grab one when the urge strikes. Be advised this is not highfalutin food. Don’t be shocked to see things like Kitchen Bouquet and Cream of Mushroom Soup, these are neighborhood recipes made by regular folks. Don’t judge as they don’t judge when you’re sliding off of the table from the gravy and blue plate mayo.

If you’ve had the pleasure of having a good Roast Beef Po Boy in New Orleans and are from elsewhere, this is the recipe for you. This along with my Parasol’s Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe are damned authentic and will scratch that itch for you….provided you can find the right bread.

A note on New Orleans French Bread:

This detail is of utmost importance, as the cooking of the beef, maybe even more so. The bread must be a bit larger than a traditional baguette with a crisp crust, and an almost cotton candy interior. Very hard to find outside of New Orleans, but in Michigan I have found a very sufficient substitute at Fresh Thyme markets. The French Bread there is almost a perfect substitute in my humble opinion, even though they’re a bit highfalutin, organic this and that.

Parkway Po Boy Style Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe

For the roast:
3 1/2 to 4 lb. Beef Chuck Roast

Penzey’s Mural of Flavor Seasoning (not authentic but I like the dimension of flavor it adds)
Kosher Salt
Coarse Black Pepper

Garlic Powder

Onion Powder

Sear the Roast liberally with all of the seasonings. If seasoning the night before omit the salt until just before searing.

2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Medium Spanish Onion, rough chopped
1 Carrot, rough chopped
1 Celery Rib, rough chopped
3 toes Garlic, chopped
2 Bay leaves
1 bunch Fresh Thyme
12 oz. Beef Stock or canned low sodium Beef Broth
1 – 10.5 oz. can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 Tbsp Kitchen Bouquet

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a very hot dutch oven with a tight fitting lid. Sear the seasoned Roast until very brown on all sides. Remove the roast to a plate, reduce the heat to medium, add the onions, carrot, celery, garlic, fresh thyme and bay leaves.

Deglaze the pan using the vegetables, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to remove all of the brown bits, the flavor.

Add the beef Stock, mushroom soup and kitchen bouquet. Bring to a boil, then add the roast back to the pan, ladle some of the liquid and vegetables over the roast, place the lid on and place into the preheated oven for 3 – 3 1/2 hours.

When the roast is fall apart tender, remove from the liquid and refrigerate until easy to slice, about one hour.

In the meantime, strain the gravy, pressing some of the vegatbles through the holes of the strainer. Strain the fat from the top. Return the gravy to the pot and keep on a low flame, I like to add a tsp of garlic powder, reduce until gravy consistency, season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper.

When the roast is quite cool, “slice” but it will be more like making it fall apart. Slice the meat with a very sharp knife across the grain. Add the meat back to the gravy and heat through, check the seasoning again, keep warm on a very low flame.

For the Po Boy:

1 Loaf New Orleans Style French Bread (Crispy Crust, soft center)
2 Cups Shredded Lettuce
2 Beefsteak Tomatoes, sliced
2 Dill Pickles, sliced
Good quality Mayonaise, Blue Plate if you can get it or Hellman’s
Roast Beef with Gravy (see above)

Cut the bread in half lengthwise and toast.

Slather mayonnaise on both sides of the toasted French Bread, put a generous helping of the Roast Beef mixture on the bottom half of the bun, followed by the tomatoes, then pickles, then the shredded lettuce. Put the lid on then slice in half. Serve with a cold beverage and a very large stack of napkins.

Serves 3 to 4 depending on how generous you are with the meat.

Other sandwich recipes on Nola Cuisine:

Parasol’s Roast Beef Po Boy Recipe

Roast Beef Po Boy with Debris Gravy

Central Grocery Style Muffuletta Recipe

Muffuletta Bread Recipe

Muffuletta Olive Salad Recipe

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Daube Creole Recipe

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From Daube Creole

Daube was introduced to New Orleans by the French Creoles who brought the preparation from their native France, where there are many regional versions of the dish. The Creoles went a step further and created Daube Glace which is a jellied dish served cold for breakfast or brunch.

What makes this dish unique from an ordinary Pot Roast is the larding of the roast with seasoned salt pork which flavors the meat from the inside while it cooks. Be sure and do this the night before cooking!

I use a split pig’s foot in the preparation of Daube Creole for the gelatin and richness that it adds to the sauce, also important for making Daube Glace.

From Daube Creole

Larded Beef Roast Recipe

5 lb Beef Roast, preferably from the Round
1/4 lb Salt pork fat, cut into thin strips (1/2″ X 3″)
1 Tbsp Parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme, finely chopped
3 Fresh Bay Leaves, very finely chopped
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Tbsp Spanish Onion, minced
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
2 Tbsp Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp Freshly Grated Black Pepper

Make 1 inch long incisions about 3 inches deep all over the roast. Toss the salt pork strips with the remaining ingredients.

From Daube Creole

Fill each incision with some of the seasoned salt pork mixture. Refrigerate overnight.

From Daube Creole

Daube Creole Recipe

3 Tbsp Lard or Bacon drippings
1 5 lb Larded Beef Round (recipe above)
Kosher Salt
Black Pepper
All Purpose Flour for dusting
1 Large Spanish Onion, chopped
3 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 Cup Dry Sherry
2 Quarts Beef Stock
5 Carrots, cut into 1/2″ dice
2 Turnips, cut into 1/2″ dice
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Pork Foot, split
3 Bay Leaves
1 Bunch Fresh Thyme, tied

Season the larded roast very liberally with salt and black pepper and dust lightly all over with the flour. Heat the lard in a large Dutch Oven on high heat. When very hot, sear the larded roast on all sides until very brown. Remove the roast to a plate.

From Daube Creole

Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, stirring well, making sure to get all of the brownings from the bottom of the pot. When the onion is nicely browned add the tomato paste. Cook for several minutes, browning the paste slightly. Add the sherry and bring to a boil over high heat to cook off the alcohol.

Add the stock, carrots, turnips, garlic, split pig’s foot, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to a boil, then return the roast to the pot, turn the heat down to a simmer.

From Daube Creole

Cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

When the roast is tender remove to a cutting board. Turn up the heat and reduce the sauce by half. Remove the pig’s foot, bay leaves, and thyme. Season to taste with salt, black pepper and cayenne. Add the chopped parsley.

Slice the roast in thin slices and cover generously with the sauce. Serve over Creole Boiled Rice or cooked pasta.

Serves 6-8.

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Radosta’s Famous Po-Boys

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After my visit to the Abita Brewery, and my 23.83 mile jaunt across Lake Pontchartrain from Abita Springs, I decided to keep with my ritual on every trip to New Orleans and go straight for a Roast Beef Po-Boy! I’ve heard good things about Radosta’s in old Metarie, so that is where I headed.

From Radosta's Famous Po Boys

Radosta’s Restaurant & Deli
249 Aris Avenue Metairie, LA 70005-3424
1 (504) 831-1537

Tucked away on a neighborhood street, it took a little looking to find. Although it was slow when I came in, I got the feeling right away that this is the kind of joint that locals in the neighborhood pay a strong allegiance to. The folks that own and run it, are just as nice as can be.

From Radosta's Famous Po Boys


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I ordered at the deli counter, the gentleman behind the counter took my order, and when I asked about a drink he said, “Just help yourself to anything you like from the coolers, just like you’re at home. You can pay on the way out.” I liked that.

From Radosta's Famous Po Boys

I grabbed an ice cold Abita Jockamo IPA, because hell, why break the theme of the day. I had a seat to wait for my order and snap a few shots of the interior.

From Radosta's Famous Po Boys

I love neighborhood places like this, and it always makes me jealous that I don’t have one like it. A father and son grabbing a Po boy and a soda, presumably after school, another family relaxing and talking after a late lunch. The counterman casually checking the score on the TV as he prepares my sandwich. No stress, no mess. Business as usual.

My food arrived a few minutes later, a dressed Roast Beef Po-Boy, and a cup of Gumbo. I started with the Gumbo, and I have to tell you, I was floored, just delicious. Nothing crazy, or new, just a well made, well seasoned File Gumbo. I loved it. Honestly, I don’t usually order a Gumbo at restaurants, because quite frankly, I like my own. But I was glad I did on this occasion, it really hit the spot.

From Radosta's Famous Po Boys
From Radosta's Famous Po Boys

On to the main attraction, the Roast Beef Po-Boy. Very good, wonderful beef, tender with good flavor! Good buttered and toasted French Bread. Dressed. Generally I like my Roast Beef Po Boys a little more sloppy, lots of gravy and mayo. This one was more about the beef itself which was very good and a very generous portion!

From Radosta's Famous Po Boys

After stuffing myself I went to the counter to pay, had some nice conversation with the delightful gal tending the register, I presume one of the owners, and went on my way, fat and happy!

Related Posts:

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

Be sure and check out my ever growing Index of Creole & Cajun Recipes which provides links to all of the recipes featured at Nola Cuisine!

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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
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

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