Debris Roast Beef Po’ Boy Sandwich

Debris Roast Beef Po’ Boy Sandwich
Debris Roast Beef Po’ Boy Sandwich

“Debris” is the New Orleans description for this messy, 10-napkins-required famous NOLA sandwich. The “debris” is the ultra-tender little bits and pieces of beef that fall off a beef roast while it slowly braises in a thick and savory gravy—those little brown gems that are just too delicious to put into words.

The Roast Beef Debris Po’ Boy is packed with fork-tender, fall-apart, tender beef in a rich ‘debris’ brown gravy. The ‘New Orleans specialty French bread’ is toasted and spread with mayonnaise. From there, heaping mounds of shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, and dill pickles make up a “fully-dressed” Po’ Boy. Bold flavors of creamy horseradish, remoulade, pickle relish, Creole mustard, hot sauce, and Provolone cheese are additional options.

Get your napkins ready!

“Debris” Po' Boys

For the Roast Beef

  • 3 – 4 lb. chuck roast with lots of fat
  • 12 cloves of garlic, peeled, cut in half
  • Sprinkling of Creole seasoning
  • Cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 stick of butter (or 4 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon “Better Than Bouillon”(beef flavor) or canned beef broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 - 4 (4″ long) fresh thyme sprigs, stem removed (or used dried thyme, preferably French Thyme)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Optional: 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce, 2 tsp. A-1 Sauce, and/or 1/2 tsp. Kitchen Bouquet

For the Po’ Boy Add-Ons (“Fully Dressed”)

  • Either New Orleans French bread or high-quality French bread
  • Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce (1 – 2 heads of lettuce)
  • 6 ripe large tomatoes, sliced
  • Sliced dill pickles


  • Melt butter in a heavy pot
  • Season chuck roast all over however, you like it. Some recommended spices are listed in ‘ingredients’.
  • Cut about 20 slits into roast, about ¾” deep, and insert garlic clove halves.
  • Place the season roast with garlic cloves into the pot and sear chuck roast in the hot butter all over until a nice dark brown appears., approximately 4 – 5 minutes on each side.
  • Remove and set aside, but do not throw away any of the brown bits left at the bottom of the pot.
  • Add chopped onions to the bacon bits in the pot; saute’ until golden brown.
  • While the onions brown, make the ‘roux’ by adding the flour to the warm water.
  • Pour the ‘roux’ all around the golden brown onions and brown bits.
  • With a fork, stir the roux into the onion/brown bits mixture. It will be like a very thick paste.
  • Mix 1 teaspoon of bouillon to 3 cups of water.
  • Pour into the pot of onions/roux mixture; stir to incorporate.
  • Add Bay leaves and thyme. Optional boost of flavor: Add Worcestershire Sauce, A-1 sauce, and Kitchen Bouquet.
  • Add ½ packet of Lipton dry onion soup mix; stir.
  • Place the seared chuck roast with garlic back into the pot.
  • Cover the pot and bake in a 325° F. degree oven for a minimum of 3 hours. Remove from oven when it has the fork-tender level of tenderness that you desire.
  • Remove from the pot, leaving the debris gravy in the pot.
  • With 2 forks, shred the chuck roast meat.
  • Return the shredded beef to the pot of debris gravy.
  • Toast the bread, remove, and spread with garlic butter (1 Tbsp. garlic powder to ½ stick of butter) for 2 sandwiches, buttered on both sides).
  • Place a heaping mound of beef and debris sauce onto ½ of the bread.
  • On the other half of the bread, spread mayonnaise.
  • Over the mayonnaise, place a heaping mound of shredded iceberg lettuce, sliced tomatoes, slices of pickles (and any other toppings that you prefer from ingredients list).
  • Place the two halves of the sandwich together and lightly press down.

Roz has more to say about this recipe, including more optional toppings:

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