Roast Beef Po'Boy Recipe

What do you think of when you think of New Orleans food? You may think of sugar-dusted beignets from the famous Café Du Monde, but those interested in something savory are sure to love a po'boy. This is no ordinary sandwich: The Southern staple is so popular, it's even sold in some New Orleans vending machines. These days, it's most commonly made with seafood like fried shrimp, but a few decades ago, roast beef reigned supreme, just like it does in this recipe that piles flavorful, juicy shredded roast beef onto a soft bread roll alongside fresh, crunchy accompaniments like lettuce, tomato, and pickles.

Though the beef is the star here, when it comes to po'boys, don't overlook the bread! "French bread rolls work the best for this recipe," recipe developer Leah Maroney says. "You want something that is soft, but also slightly crusty. You can use a firmer roll like ciabatta, but it won't have the same effect."

Gather your roast beef po'boy ingredients

We've already covered what bread is best to use here, but aside from the French rolls, you'll need onion, tomato, garlic, shredded lettuce, sliced pickles, mayo, flour, salt, pepper, Creole seasoning, beef bouillon, browning sauce, and bottom round roast. "You can use other kinds of round roasts," Maroney says. "Something with nice marbling works best for flavor." You may also need butter and vegetable oil, so keep those handy.

Sear the roast

Preheat your oven to 275 F, then bring your attention to the meat. Start by mincing the garlic and covering your roast in it, along with some salt and pepper. Place a Dutch oven on the stove over high heat, and when it's hot, add your roast and sear it for several minutes on each side until well browned. Take it out of the pot and set it aside. "If there isn't enough fat to coat the bottom of the pot," Maroney says, add some vegetable oil for the next step.

Cook the onion and make the braising liquid

Once you've got enough fat in the pan, add your sliced onions and cook until they smell great and look a bit browned. Lower the heat, add the flour and Creole seasoning, and stir until you don't see any powdery bits. Add the browning sauce, bouillion, and water, then bring the mixture to a boil.

Braise, slice, and shred the beef

Now that your liquid is boiling, put the roast back into the pot, cover it with an overproof lid, and put it in the oven for 4 hours to braise. Once it's done, take the lid off and let it cool down a bit, then take the beef out and cut it into round pieces. Put your pot of liquid back on the stove and boil it once again so any bits of meat or onion come up from the bottom of the pot and the liquid becomes thicker, like a gravy. Put the meat back in and stir — it should fall apart into shreds.

Assemble and enjoy your roast beef po'boy sandwich

At long last, it's time to make your po'boy sandwich. Take your rolls (toasted and buttered, if you prefer), spread them with mayo, and pile on the roast beef, gravy, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. Serve with some extra gravy if you want, and dig into your homemade roast beef po-boy.

This recipe is a bit of a project, so if you'd like to make some of it ahead of time, you're in luck. "The roast can be cooked a day in advance, stored in the refrigerator, then sliced and heated in the hot gravy," Maroney explains. "The roast beef mixture can also be frozen in plastic bags and reheated in a large pot with the addition of a ¼ cup water." The next time you're in the mood for a sandwich, why not treat yourself to a nice New Orleans po'boy?

Roast Beef Po'Boy Recipe
4.8 from 19 ratings
Need a weekend project? These po'boys are packed with juicy roast beef and luscious gravy, which can be yours after a few hours of braising.
Prep Time
Cook Time
roast beef po'boy close-up
Total time: 4 hours, 55 minutes
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 1 (3 ½-pound) bottom round beef roast
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons browning sauce (such as Gravy Master)
  • 2 tablespoons beef bouillon
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 French bread rolls
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup sliced pickles
  • 1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 beefsteak tomato, thinly sliced
Optional Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, if needed
  • Butter, for toasting the rolls
  1. Preheat the oven to 275 F.
  2. Rub the garlic, salt, and pepper into the beef on all sides, making shallow cuts into the roast if needed, until completely coated.
  3. Heat a large Dutch oven on high heat. Add the seasoned roast to the pot and sear, undisturbed, for 3-5 minutes per side. Once browned, remove the roast from the pot and set aside.
  4. If there is not enough fat rendered to coat the pot, add in the optional 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  5. Add the onions to the pot and cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Add the flour and Creole seasoning to the pot and stir until the onions are completely coated. Continue cooking on low heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are lightly golden.
  7. Add the browning sauce, beef bouillon, and water to the pot. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the beef bouillon.
  8. Turn off the heat, add the roast back into the pot, and cover with a lid. Place the pot into oven and cook for 4 hours.
  9. Remove the roast from the oven, leaving the lid on. Allow it to cool at room temperature to about 150 F.
  10. Remove the roast from the pot and slice it into rounds.
  11. Place the pot back on the stovetop with just the liquid inside and cook until boiling, stirring to skim the remaining beef and onion off the top. The liquid should thicken slightly.
  12. Add the sliced beef back to the pot and stir until it is combined with the gravy and becomes shredded.
  13. To assemble the sandwiches, toast the buns with butter, if desired. Add the shredded beef to the rolls with a generous amount of gravy, followed by mayonnaise, pickles, shredded lettuce, and tomatoes.
  14. Slice and serve with more gravy on the side if desired.
Calories per Serving 288
Total Fat 15.2 g
Saturated Fat 5.2 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 74.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 13.9 g
Dietary Fiber 0.9 g
Total Sugars 1.6 g
Sodium 482.9 mg
Protein 22.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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