Bring the flavors of New Orleans home tonight with the absolute best hot roast beef sandwich ever. It’s roast beef done right in a slow cooker and served up Po’ boy style.
Hot, crusty French bread slathered with mayonnaise, and loaded with a generous helping of steamy, succulent roast beef drenched in its own gravy, accompanied by an onslaught of pickles, fresh, sliced tomatoes, along with the crisp, cool bite of shredded lettuce. And, it is without a doubt, the kind of sandwich foodie dreams are made of.
THE BEST HOT ROAST BEEF SANDWICH. EVER.
If you have yet to visit the Creole comfort food capital of the South, it might be high-time you took a treck on over to New Orleans. From gumbo to etouffee, chargrilled oysters, and fresh Gulf shrimp, NOLA is by far one of the greatest cities a Southerner could ever eat their way through. And, it just so happens to be the inspiration behind this hot roast beef sandwich, otherwise known in New Orleans as the remarkable roast beef po’ boy.
Po’ boys are staples in New Orleans. Hot crusty French bread, piled high with your choice of fried oysters, fried fish, fried alligator, boudin, sausage, and by far the most popular choice, fried shrimp. However, if you happen to be seated in the vicinity of anyone who had the brains to order the roast beef po’ boy, you’ll likely leave knowing you made a grave mistake.
HOW TO MAKE A HOT ROAST BEEF PO’ BOY
This hot roast beef sandwich begins with the obvious: Roast beef. For this po’ boy, we are going to use a roast beef recipe that is not only simple to make and full of flavor, but one that actually cooks in its own gravy. Yes, please.
- Prep the chuck shoulder and sear over high heat.
- Remove beef and cook onion in same pan.
- Add flour, followed by beef broth, and simmer.
- Transfer to beef and sauce to slow cooker.
- Cook until tender, about 5 1/2 hours, and shred.
- Split the bread loaf (or hoagie rolls), add shredded beef and desired toppings.
START WITH CHUCK SHOULDER ROAST
Chuck shoulder roast is the cut of beef most commonly used for roast beef. It’s a tough cut by nature, but when cooked for a long period of time on a low heat setting, it breaks down and becomes fall-apart tender. Your slow cooker is absolutely perfect for this task.
SEAR THE BEEF + THROW IN SOME ONIONS
However, in order to get as much flavor into the po’ boy sandwich as possible, certain measures need to be taken prior to the beef going in the slow cooker. To help build flavor, the chuck shoulder needs to undergo a quick sear on the stovetop before being transported to the slow cooker.
This, in addition to a quick sauté of yellow onions, will help to impart major flavor into the roast beef.
IT’S ALL GRAVY, BABY.
Another goal for this hot roast beef sandwich recipe is for the roast beef to not only braise in a flavorful liquid but for it to (essentially) create its own gravy. On the stovetop is the perfect way to kick this off.
Once the onions soften, in goes the flour (which serves as the thickener), followed by half of the beef broth. The beef broth gets slowly incorporated, making for a smooth and silky roast beef sauce perfect for smothering your po’ boy sandwich.
SLOW COOK AND REDUCE
All that’s left for the beef is to transfer it and the gravy, to the slow cooker, cover it and let it braise until you could cut it with a fork.
Toward the end of the cook time, the lid comes off, allowing the sauce to reduce and the beef to tenderize even further, making for a hot roast beef sandwich filling that could hold its own alongside the best-of-the-best in New Orleans.
THE BREAD MATTERS, GUYS.
If we were talking about just any ol’ hot roast beef sandwich here, you could use any bread you had lying around. But, we’re not. We’re talking a NOLA style roast beef po’ boy, and for this sandwich, you’re going to need white bread that’s crusty on the outside, and perfectly soft on the inside.
For this, you’ll need to take on a “fresh is best” mentality, and hit up the bakery section of your grocery store. A French loaf, the skinny French loaves (that come in pairs) or hoagie rolls are absolutely perfect for this sandwich. If you want a less “bread-y” sandwich, feel free to gently tear away at some of the bread’s interior before filling.
ALL THE TOPPINGS (AND DON’T FORGET THE PICKLES)
Part of the beauty of a roast beef po’ boy is the contrast between the toppings and the roast beef. The acidity of the tomatoes and the crisp bite of cool, shredded lettuce add contrast in both flavor and texture to an otherwise soft and savory sandwich is a beautiful thing.
And, the pickles. Don’t skimp out on the pickles. The crunchy bite of the pickles with their sharp, vinegary flavor against that hot roast beef is magical, folks. Pure. Magic.
This baby is a perfect replica of New Orleans roast beef po’ boy, and there is no better way to serve up a hot roast beef sandwich. It’s the cure for all your Southern comfort food cravings. Please, enjoy.
5 MORE DINNER RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Crawfish Etouffee has never been so easy! With a simple, step-by-step process for making perfect Etouffee at home, this no-fuss recipe comes together quickly and tastes authentically amazing!
- Crawfish Pie is loaded with savory crawfish cooked in a Creole sauce and baked in a buttery, flaky pie crust, this dish is a true masterpiece of flavor and textures. It’s where Crawfish Etouffee and Pot Pie collide, and it is absolutely glorious.
- Beef Tips and Rice is a hearty comfort food classic featuring tender beef tips slow-cook on the stovetop in a savory, rich gravy, building flavor with every passing minute.
- Slow Cooker Spare Ribs are as close to ribs hot off the pit as you’ll get, and although cooked indoors and in a crock-pot, they yield the perfect bite with a burst of big BBQ flavor.
- BBQ Pulled Pork in the Slow Cooker is a budget-friendly easy dinner idea and a total life-saver for busy weeknights!
Perfectly tender, slow cooker roast beef, served over crusty white bread with sandwich toppings piled high!
- 2 1/2 - 3 pound beef chuck shoulder roast
- 1 tablespoon TAK House Seasoning or your favorite beef seasoning
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour separated
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3 cups unsalted or low sodium beef broth
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Fresh white bakery bread for sandwiches (French loaf, French sticks, or hoagie rolls will do fine)
- Tomatoes seeded and sliced 1/4" thick
- Sliced dill pickles
- Finely shredded Iceberg lettuce
Pat the roast dry with a paper towel and sprinkle with seasoning and 2 tablespoons of flour. Rub all over to evenly adhere.
Add the oil to a very large, rimmed sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and allow to come to temperature. Add the roast to the pan and sear for about 4 minutes on both sides, or until it develops a nice crust. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium, add the diced onion to the pan and sauté, stirring often. Cook the onion for 3-4 minutes, or until just softened. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour over the onions and stir to coat.
Add about half of the beef broth one big splash at a time, stirring until completely incorporated after each addition. Once half of the broth has been incorporated, add the salt and pepper and allow to come to a simmer. Simmer for a few minutes, or until thickened slightly.
Add the beef, along with all of its juices, to your slow cooker. Pour over the sauce, along with the remaining broth. Set your slow cooker on the high heat setting and cover. Cook for 4 hours, then remove the beef and shred it. Add the shredded beef back to the slow cooker, and continue to cook (uncovered) for 1 1/2 hours more, stirring occasionally.
Cut your bread for sandwiches (if necessary). If you'd like to toast your bread, preheat the oven to 400°. Once the oven comes to temperature, place the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 4 minutes or until lightly toasted.
Remove bread from the oven, slather with mayonnaise (if using), add a generous serving of shredded roast beef and desired toppings. Serve and enjoy!