Roast Beef Po'boy
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe by:
Serves: 4
  • 4 pounds flank steak, tenderized
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 whole yellow onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups water, plus more if needed
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Zatarain’s liquid crab boil or 1 tablespoon Acadiana Table Cajun Seasoning Blend, see recipe here
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 tablespoons flavoring and browning sauce, such as Savoie's or Kitchen Bouquet
  • 4 individual 10-inch po'boy loaves
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • Sesame seeds
  • 1 cup quality mayonnaise, such as Blue Plate
  • 8 slices ripe tomato
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Sliced dill pickles
  • Hot sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Season the beef with salt and black pepper. In a large black iron pot with tight fitting lid on medium high heat, pour the oil and bring to a sizzle. Add the beef and brown the meat on both sides until dark brown. Lower the heat and add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, parsley and bay leaf. Add enough water to cover the beef. Cover the pot and let simmer for 1 hour checking every 20 minutes to add more water if needed.
  3. Remove the beef to a cutting board. With a large knife, chop the beef into thumbnail size pieces. Cover and keep warm.
  4. In the pot with beef cooking liquid, turn up the heat to a gentle boil and add the Worcestershire and crab boil. Make a slurry with the cornstarch and an equal amount of cold water. Add the slurry to the pot and stir. Once it comes back to a boil, it will thicken. The thickness of the gravy should pour easily, yet coat the back of a spoon. Add more of the cornstarch slurry to thicken or more water to thin it to the proper consistency. If needed, add a spoonful or two of browning sauce to darken the gravy to a beautiful medium dark brown. Taste the gravy and add salt and black pepper if needed. Add the chopped beef to the gravy and keep warm.
  5. Slice the po'boy bread in half lengthwise. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place the tops on the bottom halves and onto a baking tray to bake in the oven. Heat the bread just long enough to smell the sesame seed aroma and crisp the top of the loaf. It should form a hard outer crust that when you tap it, it makes that distinguishable sound of hardness, but the soft inner bread remains moist and fluffy. Remove the bread from the oven.
  6. Open the halves exposing the inside of the top and bottom. Slather the bottom half with mayonnaise and using a slotted spoon, add a generous portion of beef and gravy on top. Layer two large slices of tomato on top of the beef and mound with shredded lettuce. Hold the top half of the bread in your hand and quickly dip it into the beef gravy to soak the inside and place on top to close the sandwich. Garnish with sliced dill pickles and serve with hot sauce on the side.
Look for pre-tenderized flank or have your butcher run it through his tenderizing machine. Good French bread is crucial. If you are outside of Louisiana, find a good Vietnamese bakery and you will be surprised at how close their traditional French loaf is to the perfect po'boy bread. Or you can order Lafayette-based Poupart’s French bread po'boy loaves online at
Recipe by Acadiana Table at