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Slow Cooker Roast Beef Po-boys  – crusty french bread stuffed with juicy, fall-apart tender roast beef that’s been slow cooking for hours, topped with lettuce, mayonnaise and lots of gravy.  Good and sloppy, just like they make ’em in New Orleans.

Two halves of a Roast Beef Po-boy on a large plate

The po-boy was created during the New Orleans streetcar strike in the 1920’s.  Two brothers, who had first found work as streetcar conductors, later opened a sandwich shop and made the first po-boy out of a loaf of french bread.  The sandwich was made inexpensively with gravy and roast beef.  When the streetcar strikers entered their shop, the brothers would call out, “Here comes another po-boy”. That name transferred to the sandwich.

To make a really great roast beef po-boy, you just need to remember a few things. First, you can’t be stingy with the roast beef. You have to pile it on.

Second, you have to decide whether or not you want your po-boy dressed or not. Dressed means with lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise added.

Finally, you need to make sure you add lots and lots of gravy.  When the gravy mixes with the mayonnaise, it tends to fall out of the bread and become a wonderfully sloppy, messy meal.  In fact, if you don’t need more than a few napkins, you haven’t made a po-boy right.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Cooking a roast in a slow cooker allows the meat to cook at a low temperature very slowly. This process gives you juicy, extra tender meat.
  • This recipe is simple. Yes, there are quite a few ingredients needed but keep in mind that it’s a very flexible recipe.

Ingredient Notes

See recipe box below for ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions.

  • Beef Chuck Roast: You may use Top Round, Rump Roast, Chuck Shoulder or Eye Round Roast instead, but my preference is Chuck Roast.
  • Seasonings: Creole seasoning, salt, and black pepper.
  • Canola or vegetable oil: This ingredient is used when searing the meat.
  • Vegetables: Onion, celery, carrots, and garlic.
  • Beef broth: You can make your own beef broth, or you can use chicken or beef broth or stock.
  • To assemble: French Bread, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato

How To Make This Recipe

  1. Place the roast in the pan and sear until golden brown on both sides; about 8 minutes per side. Remove the roast from the pan and transfer to a plate.
  2. Place the sliced onions, celery and carrots in the bowl of the slow cooker.
  3. Put the roast on top of the vegetables.
  4. Using the tip of a sharp knife, make five small slits about 1-inch deep all over the roast. Using your fingers, insert the garlic cloves as deep into the meat as possible.
  5. Add the beef broth, salt, pepper and bay leaf to the slow cooker and cover with the lid. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
Spoonful of roast beef from a slow cooker next to two loaves of french bread and a bottle of beer

To Assemble

  1. Spread a generous amount of mayonnaise on both pieces of bread.
  2. Top with shredded meat and gravy.
  3. Serve with shredded lettuce and tomatoes, if desired.

Expert Tips

  • This beef stew begins with a pound of beef chuck roast. If you find another cut of meat that is cheaper, go ahead and use it. Bottom round, top round, eye round, or shoulder roast. Either of these cuts will work just as well.
  • I season my roast with Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning. If you can’t find Tony’s, any good creole seasoning will probably do.  You can even make your own.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Sear Meat?

Start with a hot pan. Place the piece of beef in the pan. Let the meat sizzle for a good 8 minutes per side. When the bottom of the meat has a dark crust, flip the pieces over and cook the other sides until browned.

Can I Substitute Lamb For The Beef?

Yes! Lamb would be a wonderful substitution.

How Long Does Slow Cooker Roast Beef Last?

Store leftover Slow Cooker Roast Beef in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Two halves of a Roast Beef Po-boy on a large plate

Enjoy!


Slow Cooker Roast Beef Po-Boys

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 8 hours
Total: 8 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Roast Beef Po-boys  – crusty french bread stuffed with juicy, fall-apart tender roast beef that’s been slow cooking for hours, topped with lettuce, mayonnaise and lots of gravy.  Good and sloppy, just like they make ’em in New Orleans. | www.zagleft.com

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound chuck roast (2 1/2 to 3)
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 crushed black pepper

TO ASSEMBLE

  • 1 large loaf of french bread (or 6 small baguettes)
  • Mayonnaise
  • lettuce, shredded
  • tomatoes, sliced

Instructions 

  • Pat the beef dry with paper towels and season both sides with the creole seasoning.
  • Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil to the pan.
  • Place the roast in the pan and sear until golden brown on both sides; about 8 minutes per side. Remove the roast from the pan and transfer to a plate.
  • Place the sliced onions, celery and carrots in the bowl of the slow cooker.
  • Put the roast on top of the vegetables.
  • Using the tip of a sharp knife, make five small slits about 1-inch deep all over the roast. Using your fingers, insert the garlic cloves as deep into the meat as possible.
  • Add the beef broth, salt, pepper and bay leaf to the slow cooker and cover with the lid. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
  • *TO ASSEMBLE*
  • Spread a generous amount of mayonnaise on both pieces of bread. Top with shredded meat and gravy. Serve with shredded lettuce and tomatoes, if desired.
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38 Comments

  1. I made this tonight for my family, and it was a huge hit, even with my picky eater kids. We are from the New Orleans area but have lived afar since Katrina. Finding decent Po’boy bread is a challenge, but to be honest, the roast beef was the best part so the bread didn’t matter much (no Leidenheimer here). The only teensy change is I put 2 bay leaves (I guessed after not seeing how many in the ingredients list, as I quickly jumped to the recipe to make it ahead of time before reading the entire blog later), and I removed the carrots/celery before serving. I also thickened the gravy a bit with some cornstarch. Since we now live near 2,000 ft above sea level in the Appalachians, I find I have to slightly tweak the ‘below sea level’ recipes from back home to get it right. I toasted some fresh baked soft sub rolls, served with shaved lettuce, thin sliced tomatoes (sadly, not Creole), pickles, and of course, gobs of mayo. I didn’t have Tony’s on hand (hard to find where we live now) but I did use a spice blend from Saia’s (the store in Mandeville, make their own spice blend now, and a friend sent us some). This will be my “I’m homesick and want a roast beef po’boy’ recipe from now on! It was absolutely delicious and perfect.

    1. Hi Missy,

      Thank you so much for letting me know you enjoyed the recipe. The sandwiches you made sound heavenly. I remember Saia’s in Mandeville (I grew up in Slidell and your name is so familiar to me), next time I’m in town I’ll have to plan to stop there to try their spices. I always love cooking with brands from back home – Have a great week!
      Joanie

  2. This is a fabulous recipe – made me homesick. My issue with so-called Po Boys outside of NOLA is the bread. Just not real French Bread with the crispy crust and the airy middle. By accident (thanks to an Amazon Fresh goof by me), I tried La Brea take and bake French Bread. Closest I’ve found to the French Market.

    This is a perfect pairing. Zagleft Slow Cooker Roast beef and almost NOLA French Bread. BTW, you can freeze leftovers separately. YUM!

    1. Thank you so much for letting me know you enjoyed the recipe, Pat. You are right about the bread – it’s so hard to find good “NOLA Style” French Bread. Thank you for the La Brea recommendation, I will have to give that a try.

  3. 4 stars
    My mouth is watering looking at these pictures!!! I love, love, love a good po-boy, and this one looks to fit the bill. And I agree about the juices mixing with the mayo–it makes the absolute perfect sauce! Yum.

  4. I love Po Boys so very much. I could eat this all day long. Love that you made it in the slow cooker.