Roast Beef Debris is a New Orleans classic – tender, shredded beef in a flavorful sauce that just melts in your mouth. Served on crunchy French bread and fully dressed with mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomatoes – it is so delicious.

Roast Beef Debris is fall-apart tender chuck roast, seasoned, seared, and cooked in a flavorful broth – the broth combines with the juice and fat from the roast and makes an amazing gravy. This roast is so delicious – served fully dressed on crunchy French bread or as a main course with roasted vegetables, it is always a hit!

Roast Beef Debris has been made famous by Mother’s Restaurant in New Orleans. They serve their’s with a cabbage slaw instead of shredded lettuce, but we love the shredded lettuce.

The first time I had roast beef debris was on a po’boy in New Orleans from Parkway Bakery & Tavern. I love a fried shrimp po’boy, fully dressed – but there is something to be said about tender roast beef on crunchy bread, smothered in gravy.

A roast beef debris po boy on French bread with lettuce, tomato, and pickles.
Table of Contents

🥘 Ingredient Notes

The ingredients in roast beef debris, laid out and labeled.

For the Roast

  • Cooking Oil – Avocado, vegetable, or canola oil – Use something that has a high smoke point so that it does not burn. (Do not use butter as it will burn.)
  • Boneless Chuck Roast, trimmed – I like to cut off as much of the fat as I easily can, though I do like to leave some so that you still get that good flavor in the broth/keep the meat juicy and tender.
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Beef Broth
  • Yellow Onion
  • Tomato Paste
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Hot Sauce – My favorite hot sauce to use for this recipe is Tabasco.
  • Minced Fresh Garlic

Thickening Slurry

  • Water
  • Cornstarch (You can use Arrowroot to make this Paleo/Whole30 compatible.)

For Serving

  • French Bread – You want to use a bread that is soft but has a crunchy outside. When you bite into the sandwich, you want to be able to easily bite through the bread, but it needs to be sturdy enough to hold up with all of the gravy. If you can’t find French bread, Cuban bread is a good alternative.
  • Shredded Iceberg Lettuce
  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • Sliced Dill PicklesI like to use Mt. Olive “hamburger” sliced dill pickles. (I linked them here, but I would recommend buying them in the store because it is a lot cheaper than ordering them online.)
  • Mayonnaise – Blue Plate Mayonnaise is our favorite!

🍽 Equipment Needed

  • A Dutch Oven or Oven-Safe Pot – If you do not have a pot that can go in the oven, you can cook this in a normal pot, then transfer to a baking dish covered in foil to cook in the oven. When it comes out of the oven, return the juices to the pot and mix with the cornstarch slurry to thicken while you shred the meat. Then mix it all together and serve!

🥣 How to Make It

Roast Beef Debris is really easy to make and requires only a few steps of preparation before finishing with hands-off cooking in the oven. If you have an oven-safe pot or dutch oven, this can all be made in one pot!

Cook along with me here!

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Trim the roast, then liberally season all sides with salt and pepper. (Pictures 1 – 3)
  • Heat oil in an oven safe dutch oven over medium heat, then sear the meat on all sides. The roast should be lightly browned on the outside, but still raw in the middle. It should take about 3 minutes per side. (Picture 4)
  • Once the meat is browned on all sides, remove it from the pan but keep the heat on. (Picture 5)
A collage of images showing how to cook roast beef debris, steps 1 - 5.
  • Add the onions and garlic to the remaining oil and cook until the onions are soft. (Picture 6)
  • Next, add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce. (Pictures 7 – 8)
  • Stir until the onions are coated in the tomato paste, then add the beef broth to deglaze the pan. Bring the broth mixture to a boil. (Pictures 9 – 10)
A collage of images showing how to cook roast beef debris, steps 6 - 10.
  • Return the beef to the pot and submerge it in the broth. Spoon some of the broth over the beef, then put the lid on the pot and bake for 2 ½ hours. (If your pot doesn’t have a lid, you can cover the pot with aluminum foil.) (Pictures 11 – 12) — Yes, my pot looks dirty – it’s from baking so many loaves of bread!
  • About halfway through the cooking time, remove the pot from the oven and spoon the sauce over the beef.
  • After 2 ½ hours have elapsed, remove the pot from the oven and place it back onto a warm burner over medium/low heat. (Picture 13)
  • Remove the beef from the sauce and let it rest for about 10 minutes, while you thicken the sauce.
  • Mix together water and cornstarch, then stir that into the sauce. (Picture 14) Bring the sauce to a simmer and reduce the heat for 10 minutes, while the beef is resting.
  • After 10 minutes have elapsed, shred the beef and return it to the sauce. Remove from heat. (Picture 15)
A collage of images showing how to cook roast beef debris, steps 11 - 15.

Serve the roast beef on crunchy french bread slathered with Blue Plate mayonnaise, a layer of shredded lettuce, and a layer of sliced tomatoes. Top the tomatoes with beef and add a few sliced pickles if desired. Enjoy!

A collage of images showing how to prepare a fully dressed roast beef debris po'boy.

Recipe Yield

This recipe should serve 8 people. If making six-inch po’boys, you should be able to make 8. We like to make this recipe for dinner, then have it for lunch another day, then make Roast Beef Debris Cheese Fries. (Nostalgia for late-night college comfort food!)

A baking sheet with French fries topped in roast beef debris with cheese on top.

How to Make Roast Beef Debris Cheese Fries

  • Bake fries according to the package directions on a lined baking sheet. (These fries are messy so lining the sheet makes it easier to clean!)
  • While the fries are baking, heat up the leftover roast beef debris with a little bit of gravy and shred some cheddar cheese.
  • When the fries are done, remove them from the oven and top with roast beef debris, gravy, and shredded cheese.
  • Put the whole thing back in the oven for 3 – 5 minutes to melt the cheese and let the fries sop up some gravy. (I just leave the oven at whatever temperature I used to bake the fries.)
  • Remove from the oven once the cheese is melted and enjoy!
A collage of images showing how to make roast beef debris cheese fries.

Serve topped with green onions and a side of ranch. Roast Beef Debris is honestly worth making just for the debris cheese fries! It is cheesy, saucy, melty, and delicious.

A plate of roast beef debris cheese fries.

🙋‍♀️ Frequently Asked Questions

What does “fully dressed” mean with regard to a po’ boy?

Fully dressed means that the sandwich has mayonnaise, lettuce, tomatoes, and sometimes pickles. Fully dressed is the best way to ensure you have all the flavor!


What kind of meat do you use for Roast Beef Debris?

Roast Beef Debris is best made using a chuck roast, but you can also use a rump roast.

What is New Orleans Debris?

Typically, New Orleans Debris or Roast Beef Debris is the shredded pieces of roast beef mixed with the fat and cooking juices that get turned into a gravy.

In my research for this post, I learned that debris is often pronounced using the French pronunciation, like “day-bree.” My husband and I have never heard anyone say it that way but that doesn’t mean no one does!

A roast beef debris po boy on French bread with lettuce, tomato, and pickles with fries on the side.

🍳 Serving Suggestions & Uses

We love to serve Roast Beef Debris Po’ Boys with a side of French fries and coleslaw.

Button linking to the Pinterest page for Southern Bytes.

🥫 Storage/Shelf Life/Reheating

Once cooled, roast beef debris can be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for 3 – 5 days or frozen for around 3 months.

✏️ Helpful Tips

  • Make sure to serve Roast Beef Debris Po’ Boys fully dressed!
  • If you have leftover Roast Beef Debris, be sure to make Debris Cheese Fries.
  • Trim most of the fat off the roast before searing it, but leave a little bit behind to keep the roast moist and flavorful.

🌶️ Other Great Cajun & Creole Recipes

Have You Tried This Recipe?
Please rate it and leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you think!

📝 Recipe

A roast beef debris po boy on French bread with lettuce, tomato, and pickles.

Roast Beef Debris

4.86 from 14 votes
Roast Beef Debris is a New Orleans classic – tender, shredded beef in a flavorful sauce that just melts in your mouth. Served on crunchy French bread and fully dressed with mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomatoes – it is so delicious.
Author: Kari
Servings: 8
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 30 mins
Thickening Sauce/Resting Beef: 10 mins
Total: 2 hrs 50 mins

Equipment

  • dutch oven or oven safe pot

Ingredients  

  • 3 tablespoons avocado, vegetable, or canola oil
  • 1 3 – 4 pound boneless chuck roast, trimmed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup sliced yellow onion
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

Thickening Slurry

  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot for Paleo

For Serving

  • French bread
  • shredded iceberg lettuce
  • sliced tomatoes
  • sliced dill pickles
  • mayonnaise

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Trim the roast, then liberally season all sides with salt and pepper.
  • Heat oil in an oven safe dutch oven over medium heat, then sear the meat on all sides. The roast should be lightly browned on the outside, but still raw in the middle. It should take about 3 minutes per side.
    3 tablespoons avocado, vegetable, or canola oil, 1 3 – 4 pound boneless chuck roast, trimmed
  • Once the meat is browned on all sides, remove it from the pan but keep the heat on.
  • Add the onions and garlic to the remaining oil and cook until the onions are soft.
    1 cup sliced yellow onion, 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Next, add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.
    ¼ cup tomato paste, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • Stir until the onions are coated in the tomato paste, then add the beef broth to deglaze the pan.
  • Bring the broth mixture to a boil.
  • Return the beef to the pot and submerge it in the broth. Spoon some of the broth over the beef, then put the lid on the pot and bake for 2 ½ hours. (If your pot doesn't have a lid, you can cover the pot with aluminum foil.)
  • About halfway through the cooking time, remove the pot from the oven and spoon the sauce over the beef.
  • After 2 ½ hours have elapsed, remove the pot from the oven and place it back onto a warm burner over medium/low heat.
  • Remove the beef from the sauce and let it rest for about 10 minutes, while you thicken the sauce.
  • Mix together water and cornstarch, then stir that into the sauce. Bring the sauce to a simmer and reduce the heat for 10 minutes, while the beef is resting.
    1 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • After 10 minutes have elapsed, shred the beef and return it to the sauce. Remove from heat.
  • Serve the beef on crunchy french bread slathered with mayonnaise, a layer of shredded lettuce, and a layer of sliced tomatoes. Top the tomatoes with beef and add a few sliced pickles if desired. Enjoy!
    French bread, shredded iceberg lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced dill pickles, mayonnaise

Notes

Once cooled, roast beef debris can be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for 3 – 5 days or frozen for around 3 months.
If you have leftover Roast Beef Debris, be sure to make Debris Cheese Fries.
If you don’t have a dutch oven or oven-safe pot, you can sear the beef in a pot on the stove, then create the sauce in the same pot. To bake, place the beef in an oven-safe casserole dish, pour the sauce over the meat, and top it with aluminum foil. After baking, remove the beef from the dish to rest and pour the sauce back in the pot to finish the recipe as directed.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 78kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 2gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 989mgPotassium: 205mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 129IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is approximate and is automatically calculated, so should only be used as a guide.

Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American, Cajun, Southern
Keyword: roast beef debris, roast beef po boys, roast beef sandwich
Did you make this recipe?Mention @southernbytes or tag #southernbytes!

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Hi, I’m Kari!

I am a newlywed, food blogger, health coach, and mama to a hot mess of a border collie. I love to put a new spin on old family recipes and I try to make as many meals as possible with an Instant Pot.

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