Roast Beef Po’ Boy

This recipe comes from Anthony Bourdain’s Appetites cookbook. It is a simple beef roast thinly sliced in it’s own gravy, on a roll with mayo, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. So simple, but SO good! I don’t think you can do this sandwich justice in describing it. We’ve had po’ boys in New Orleans, and it is pretty hard to replicate them, but this recipe is a pretty good approximation.

Ideally for this recipe, you cook the roast the day before, strain the gravy and store both in the fridge overnight. Then you slice the roast while it is cold (so much easier), and reheat the slices in the gravy. The roast takes 3-4 hours to cook, so plan for that.

sandwich rolls

This roast cooking will make your house smell SO good. We were all salivating from the smell of it cooking yesterday. The ingredients in the roast are simple. Some flour, salt, pepper, celery, onion, garlic and green pepper, cooked in beef stock with some bay leaves. This combo is magic when slow cooked in your oven though. The resulting roast and gravy are meaty and flavorful and delicious.

You can either slice the roast on a slicer if you have one, or just by hand which is what I usually do. You want as thin as possible meat slices, but it is going to taste good no matter how you cut it. I serve these on my sandwich rolls, but the closest thing to po’ boy bread is probably grocery store french bread, so you can use that too.

Roast Beef Po’ Boy

tender sliced beef and gravy on a soft roll with lettuce, tomato, mayo and pickles
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes
Course Lunch, Main Course, Sandwich
Servings 4 people


For the roast:

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp AP flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 3-5 lb rump or eye round or bottom round roast
  • 3 yellow onions coarsely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery coarsely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper coarsely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 quart beef stock

To serve:

  • 4 sandwich rolls
  • mayo
  • shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce
  • sliced tomatoes
  • sliced dill pickles


  • Heat oven to 325. Whisk together 1/4 cup flour with plenty of salt and pepper to season a roast.
  • Dust the roast with this mixture.
  • Heat a few tbsp of oil over high heat in an oven safe pan with a lid and allow to get very hot. Brown the roast on all sides. Move to a plate.
  • Add the vegetables to the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally until they are beginning to become tender, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add the remaining 2 tbsp of flour sprinkled over the vegetables and mix well.
  • Slowly add the stock while whisking to prevent the flour from forming lumps.
  • Add the roast back to the pan and add the bay leaves. If the roast is not submerged most of the way, add more stock or water to cover it most of the way.
  • Bring to a boil, cover and place into the oven. Cook for 2 hours, check and add more liquid if needed to keep the meat submerged. Cook another 1-2 hours until the meat is fork tender.
  • Remove from the oven, let cool for 30 minutes and then move the meat to a container. Strain the gravy through a strainer into the container as well.
  • Place in the fridge overnight.
  • Slice the meat as thinly as possible. Heat the gravy in a large skillet on the stove and taste and season as needed. Add the sliced meat and allow to warm through.
  • Toast the rolls slightly and then spread mayo on them and season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the meat, gravy, lettuce tomato and pickles and serve.
Keyword Beef, Lunch, Main Dish, Sandwich

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