Debris: pronounced ‘day-bree’ and means the bits and pieces left behind from roast beef. Read the history of the po-boy sandwich from an earlier grilled Cajun chicken post.
During Mardi Gras, I decided to feed my staff, at least the ones in our retail division lunch one day (the Special Event Crew setting up the many balls missed out) and I thought nothing would be better than my favorite Mardi Gras food. That would be a good ol’, dripping messy, and I mean run-down-your-arm kind of messiness, French bread sandwich filled savory bits and shreds of beef and a full-flavored beefy gravy. If you have ever had a NOLA roast beef sandwich, then you know the kind we southerners prefer, or rather, demand. If you have not, then you should know that the NOLA type of roast beef is a misnomer as it is not roasted at all, rather boiled or braised in liquid, veggies and spices until it literally falls apart, thus becoming debris.
I have several recipes for roast beef sandwiches and the one today is similar to one I shared during a contest back in 2011. Scroll down that post to find it. I used the slow cooker this time to cook the roast beef and used a whole sirloin tip roast (it was really a good buy). By cooking it in the slow cooker, I was able to do so slowly overnight and by lunchtime, it fell apart which was perfect and so well received.
Now, I am not saying this po-boy, the recipe today, is the world’s greatest sandwich, but it is a darn good one. To me, as mentioned, a roast beef sandwich is my very favorite. One taste of the sandwich today brings out flavorful depths of braised beef with savory onion and slight garlic undertones, a taste that from only one bite, will seem like your very first, and one being a taste of homecoming. Enjoy!
Roast Beef for Debris Style Po-Boys
using a smaller roast will result in the same flavorful beef, just more of the delicious gravy
serves about 30
1 -10 to 12 pound whole sirloin tip roast (rump roast is my normal preference)
salt, cracked pepper, garlic powder or your favorite roast seasonings
flour for dusting
1 small bell pepper, diced
6 garlic toes, smashed and mince
3 large yellow onions, sliced
1 tablespoon steak seasoning (I used Bahia)
1 -15 oz can condensed beef broth
Unlike the NOLA method, I like to sear my roast and this time I did it quickly in the oven.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
Remove roast from the packaging, rinse if desired and dry completely. Remove the silver skin left on and any visible fat. Normally there is a vein of silver and fat running through the center. Season the roast all over with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Dust lightly with flour completely. Place in a roasting pan and roast in the oven for about 15 minutes turning the roast over midway or until the meat is seared all over. Remove from oven.
In a large slow cooker, place half of the bell pepper an garlic in the bottom and lay the roast on top. Sprinkle the remaining bell pepper and garlic. Cover roast with the onion slices and with the steak seasoning. Pour the beef broth over the onions.
Cover and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours.
Remove cover and if needed, shred roast with two serving forks or chop on a large cutting board. I stirred the roast around enough to dislodge most into bite size pieces and then continued cooking on low another 4 hours. At this point, the meat fell apart and was ready to serve.
Serve on French style pistolettes, cut French bread, Po-Boy loaves or even submarine type loaves. In true sense, the sandwiches would be served “fully dressed” with mayo, lettuce and slices of tomato. Horseradish, red onions, bread-and-butter pickles and Creole mustard are optional; some folks even like a dab of BBQ sauce (a sacrilege act if you ask me).