Food & Drink

Braised Short Rib Po’Boy

Makes 8 Sandwiches

Chef Kelly English shares his recipe for the classic sandwich

Photo: Justin Burks

Fried shrimp and oyster po’boys are fine, but to New Orleans–raised chef Kelly English, the real thing will always be beef. “And it’s not sliced roast beef,” says the man behind Memphis’s celebrated Restaurant Iris. “It’s well-sourced, slowly cooked meat that’s so tender it falls apart.”

So in November, English opened Second Line to pay homage to honest New Orleans cooking and the perfect po’boy. The Second Line version is built around braised grass-fed short ribs from Georgia’s White Oak Pastures, dressed traditionally with Duke’s mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. No arugula or weird pickles or—heaven forbid—tomato jam. “We need to keep po’boys the way God intended them to be,” English says. “Iceberg belongs on it. Just leave that alone. The same with pickles. Go to the store and find the cheapest dill pickle slices you can.”



    • 4 lbs. White Oak Pastures beef short ribs

    • 1 cup canola oil

    • 2 yellow onions, sliced thin

    • 4 ribs of celery, sliced

    • 1 green bell pepper, sliced thinly

    • 8 garlic cloves, smashed

    • 1 bay leaf

    • 2 qts. of veal stock or beef broth (low sodium if store bought)

    • Kosher salt

    • Black pepper

    • 16 slices swiss cheese

    • Duke's mayo

    • Iceberg lettuce, shredded

    • 2 ripe tomatoes, sliced

    • Store-bought dill pickles

    • 2 large loaves or up to 8 small loaves French bread, such as Leidenheimers


  1. Aggressively season short ribs with salt and pepper. Bring a braising pan to screaming hot, add in the oil, and sear the short ribs until deeply colored, about five minutes per side. Remove the short ribs to a plate and pour off about ½ of the remaining oil.

  2. Reduce heat to medium, then add in the onions and cook until caramelized. Add in the celery, bell pepper, and garlic., and cook until they take on a bit of color, about 10 minutes. Next, pour in the stock, add the bay leaf, and bring mixture to a boil.

  3. Return the short ribs to the pan, cover, and simmer 3 to 4 hours, or until the ribs begin to fall off the bone. (You can also do this in the oven at 250 degrees if you prefer).

  4. Once the meat is sufficiently tender, transfer ribs to a plate. Remove the bones and discard. Using 2 forks, pull the meat into chunks; set aside.  Remove the bay leaf, and use an immersion blender to blend together what is left in the pot. Then, add the meat back in with the gravy, and let it rest for five minutes.

  5. To build the po’boys, toast each loaf of bread slightly in the oven. Then, cut the bread in half lengthwise, and spread the bottom pieces with mayo.  Next, pile on the beef and evenly distribute the slices of cheese, and top with pickles, tomatoes, and lettuce, to taste. Dunk the remaining pieces of bread into the gravy, cut-side-down, and place them on top of the sandwiches. Slice and serve.

Recipe from chef Kelly English of the Second Line in Memphis, Tennessee.