Can't Go to NOLA? Roast Beef Po Boys at Home

Post
Foodbme
Porterhouse
2011/03/07 13:51:00
Recipe from www.nomenu.com : With a little Po Boy History included
Roast Beef Poor Boys
The poor boy sandwich is one of the essential flavors of New Orleans, and the roast beef is the king of the poor boys. The sandwich was invented in the mid-1920s during a streetcar strike. Bennie and Clovis Martin, owners of a busy restaurant on the corner of Touro and St. Claude, helped the "poor boys" on the picket lines by making a sandwich on French bread of roast beef gravy and all the little bits of beef that came with it. It was filling and delicious, and at a nickel apiece affordable. After the strike was over, sliced beef was added to the gravy and the price went up to a lofty dime. All that was left was for the John Gendusa Bakery to devise an extra-long loaf of French bread, uniform in cross section, specifically for making poor boys. The sandwich--soon stuffed not only with roast beef but about anything else you can imagine--became so popular that the restaurant renamed itself "Martin's Poor Boy Restaurant" (not po-boy, although that has become the more common spelling).

Making roast beef for poor boys is more about making gravy than roasting beef. Inside round seems to taste best, but some cooks like eye of round or even ribeyes. It's best to cook the beef the day before, because it will throw off lots of good juices for the gravy, and the cold beef will be easier to slice. You can keep the gravy in a well-sealed container in the refrigerator for a few weeks, or freeze it for even longer storage.

The most critical step in making a roast beef poor boy is to put the whole, assembled sandwich into a hot oven for two or three minutes before serving it. The flavor and aroma of the toasted French bread doubles the goodness.
  • 4-6 lbs. inside round of beef, trimmed
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 4 rib celery, cut up
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 medium carrots, cut up
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 to 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 3 loaves poor boy bread, or 6 French baguettes
  • 1 head lettuce, shredded coarsely
  • 8 tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • Dill pickle slices
  • Mayonnaise
1. Season the beef round with salt and pepper. Put it in a Dutch oven or kettle filled about half way up with water. Add the onion, celery, garlic, carrots, bay leaves, thyme, marjoram, and peppercorns. Roast it, uncovered, at 350 degrees for four to five hours, turning the roast and adding water every hour or so. The water level should slowly drop, but don't let it get less than about two inches deep. The beef is ready when a meat thermometer pushed into the center of the beef reads 160 degrees.
2. Remove the roast from the pot and place in a pan that will catch all the juices that come out as it cools. If you're cooking a day ahead (recommended), wrap the beef and refrigerate it as soon as it's cooled to room temperature. In any case, wait at least an hour before slicing.
3. Strain the solids from the stock in the pot. Bring the stock to a simmer. After removing excess fat, add all the juices that come from the roast, as well as the crumbs of beef that fall off as you slice it. Skim off the fat that rises to the surface. Cook to a light gravy consistency. (This also benefits from being made a day ahead, and cooling in the refrigerator.)
4. When you're ready to make sandwiches, bring the gravy to a simmer and whisk in the flour (but only if the gravy appears to need thickening). Add salt, pepper and Worcestershire to taste. (It's a common practice in New Orleans to add Kitchen Bouquet to darken the sauce, but I never do.)
5. Slice the roast beef as thin as possible and put as much as you want on fresh French bread with lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, and dill pickles. Spoon on all the gravy the sandwich can hold. After assembling the sandwich, put the whole thing into a 400-degree oven for about a minute to toast the bread.
Makes twelve to eighteen poor boys.
MiamiDon
Filet Mignon
Re:Can't Go to NOLA? Roast Beef Po Boys at Home 2011/03/08 05:55:26
Recipes & Cooking Techniques
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Can't Go to NOLA? Roast Beef Po Boys at Home 2011/03/08 15:19:22
MiamiDon

Recipes & Cooking Techniques

I debated that. Decided since it's a sandwich to put it there. Let a MOD Decide.
MiamiDon
Filet Mignon
Re:Can't Go to NOLA? Roast Beef Po Boys at Home 2011/03/09 12:43:50
Yeah, they need the work.
BelleReve
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Can't Go to NOLA? Roast Beef Po Boys at Home 2011/03/09 17:59:55
foodbme - that was a lot of work to post that great poor boy history and recipe- sure do appreciate it, and I say you are hereby declared an honorary New Orleanian - (or am I mistaken - that you are a transplant?)
 
Only in New Orleans - don't you find it interesting that it took an Italian baker(Gendusa) to invent the poor boy loaf?  that's what we are, just a melting pot, or jambalaya, as a former mayor used to call us. 
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Can't Go to NOLA? Roast Beef Po Boys at Home 2011/03/09 18:15:21
THANX!! That's a GREAT HONOR!!
I lived in Pensacola FL for 24 years and made frequent trips to NOLA. There is also some spillover from NOLA to Pensacola. P'cola has several Mardi Gras parades and a few Crawfish Boils. With all the good seafood there I became a pretty good Coon Ass Cook. Jambalaya, Etouffee, Gumbo, Redfish Courtbion(sp), oysters all kinds of ways, Crawfish Boils and others. Even cooked a Turducken but didn't care for it.
And of course you know that Mardi Gras actually started in Mobile AL before NOLA
post edited by Foodbme - 2011/03/09 18:18:14
BelleReve
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Can't Go to NOLA? Roast Beef Po Boys at Home 2011/03/09 20:11:07
yes but, Mardi Gras bayou was discovered and named on Mardi Gras, 1699 by the same two French-Canadian brothers who discovered New Orleans, so we were in a sense celebrating Mardi Gras before Mobile. 
 
 
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Can't Go to NOLA? Roast Beef Po Boys at Home 2011/03/09 20:23:05
BelleReve

yes but, Mardi Gras bayou was discovered and named on Mardi Gras, 1699 by the same two French-Canadian brothers who discovered New Orleans, so we were in a sense celebrating Mardi Gras before Mobile. 


From Answers.com - 
Louisiana State history began in 1528 when the area was settled by the Spanish from the mouth of the Mississippi River. It was first discovered by the French in the 1670's, when De La Salle made his way from Canada all the way down to current day Louisiana. He claimed all of the land as French territory and named it "Lousiana" meaning Louie's land, after King Louis of France.
The city of New Orleans history began in 1718 when it was founded by Frenchman Jean Baptiste Le Moyne as a port city for the transfer of goods coming into the Americas. It is named after the Duke of Orleans, Phillipe II, who was regent of France

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_discovered_New_Orleans_and_who_named_it#ixzz1G9hLGUV2
Foodbme
Porterhouse
Re:Can't Go to NOLA? Roast Beef Po Boys at Home 2011/03/09 20:34:51
BelleReve

yes but, Mardi Gras bayou was discovered and named on Mardi Gras, 1699 by the same two French-Canadian brothers who discovered New Orleans, so we were in a sense celebrating Mardi Gras before Mobile. 

There's a difference between a place and the actual Traditional Mardi Gras Celebration.
Fact Check: Did the first U.S. Mardi Gras celebration take place in New Orleans or Mobile?
• The Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce says the city's first Mardi Gras celebration was in 1703, just a year after the city was founded.
• Mobile claims it introduced the celebration to New Orleans years later. "It was in 1857 that the Mobile members of the Cowbellian de Rakin Society, formed in 1830, traveled to New Orleans and assisted with the formation of the Krewe of Comus, considered New Orleans' most prestigious Mardi Gras society," according to the Chamber's Web site.
• The first recorded Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans was in 1837. The city's first parade with floats was in 1857, apparently after assistance from Mobile.
• Legend has it that French explorer Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville first introduced Mardi Gras to the area in 1699, after he sailed into the Gulf of Mexico on March 6 (Fat Tuesday), and set up camp on the west bank of the Mississippi river about 60 miles south of New Orleans. He named the site Point du Mardi Gras, in honor of the holiday which had been celebrated in Paris since the Middle Ages.
• The true origins of Mardi Gras can be traced all the way back to ancient Greece and Rome, when early Christians with Pagan roots feasted and celebrated ahead of the somber days of Lent.
Bottom Line: Sorry, New Orleans. Although historical accounts are sketchy, it appears Mobile has a legitimate claim as America's first city to hold an organized Mardi Gras celebration.
Whether revelers on Bourbon Street choose to accept that is up to them. Either way, the party goes on!
 
 
BelleReve
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Can't Go to NOLA? Roast Beef Po Boys at Home 2011/03/10 12:58:01
I know that, but you don't think Iberville and his explorers didn't party their hearts out, Mardi Gras 1699?  And no, it wasn't a formal or organized celebration, and it's true New Orleans' official founding date as a city dates to 1718, but you have to concede that it was the first (unofficial if it makes you happy) Mardi Gras party. 
bigd
Junior Burger
Re:Can't Go to NOLA? Roast Beef Po Boys at Home 2011/03/25 23:38:41
The recipe is a bit off on cooking temperature and finished temp. Cook at 225 degrees in the oven with top off. Cook to 135 or140 degrees, pull roast and cover with foil on counter. Roast will jump to 145 within about 30 minutes. Wrap roast tightly in plastic wrap and chill. One hour before slicing, place in freezer. Pull roast after 1 hour and slice as thin as possible, against the grain.Chef's Choice 610 (100 bucks) is a good cheap meat slicer. The gravy/ au jus part of the recipe is fine.
Re:Can't Go to NOLA? Roast Beef Po Boys at Home 2011/03/26 17:18:24
Foodbme, thanks, great recipe. I'm going to use the recipe here for a Special!
BelleReve
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:Can't Go to NOLA? Roast Beef Po Boys at Home 2011/03/27 11:01:27
chewingthefat - I've made it before and know it'll be a big hit.  Toasting the assembled sandwich before serving is a crucial step, and makes make a big difference.  Let us know how it turns out.