Jul 26, 2016

Cuban Sandwich with Mojo Marinated Roast Pork

Prep Time: 6 hrs
Cook Time: 4 hrs 30 mins
A Cuban sandwich combines citrusy, tender roast pork with sliced ham, mayonnaise, mustard, Swiss cheese and pickles, which are then pressed on a baguette until the buttery bread is golden and crisp.

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Cuban Sandwich with Mojo Marinated Roast Pork

This Cuban sandwich recipe combines citrusy, tender roast pork with sliced ham, mayonnaise, mustard, Swiss cheese and pickles, which are then pressed on a baguette until the buttery bread is golden and crisp. While I am not always a fan of pickles or mustard, there’s something about all the ingredients together that makes my mouth water. I love any variation on a ham and cheese sandwich – like this American monte cristo or French croque madame. This sandwich is extremely popular in Florida, created in areas with Cuban communities to cater to workers.

What’s in a Cuban Sandwich?

  • Roast pork
  • Ham
  • Swiss cheese
  • Pickles
  • Mayonnaise
  • Yellow mustard

mojo marinated roast pork

Ingredients in a Cuban Sandwich

Roast pork

The roast pork is marinated in a citrusy combination to infuse the pork with flavor. It’s hand sliced before it’s added to the sandwiches and can be made a few days in advance.

Ham

Cubans also include deli-sliced ham. I prefer to use dry-cured, slightly smokey black forest ham.

Swiss cheese

I prefer deli-sliced cheese to hand sliced cheese in this recipe so the cheese evenly melts in the sandwich.

Pickles

I use dill pickles in this recipe though bread and butter pickles instead.

Mayonnaise

Mayonnaise helps to keep this sandwich moist. As the sandwich is pressed the mayonnaise seeps into the crisp bread.

Yellow mustard

With a strong, slightly bitter taste, yellow mustard, a classic American condiment is created from ground mustard seeds mixed with vinegar.

Bread

A crusty bread won’t press as well as a loaf of Cuban bread or French bread. Cuban bread is a fairly simple white bread though it often contains lard. Look for bread with a thinner crust so that as it presses the outside remains crisp but the juices from the roast pork don’t seep though and make it soggy.

mojo marinated roast pork sliced

Steps to Make a Cuban Sandwich

Step 1

Make the marinade for the pork, blending the ingredients together.

Step 2

Then add the marinade to a large re-sealable plastic bag with the pork shoulder

Step 3

Preheat the oven. Place a rack in a roasting pan and add the meat. Roast until cooked through and tender.

Step 4

Let the meat rest for about 30 minutes before slicing. Thinly slice the pork and set aside.

Step 5

Slice the bread in half to create rolls then slice in half again.

Step 6

Spread mayonnaise on the bottom of each sandwich and mustard on the top half of each sandwich.

Step 7

To assemble the sandwich, layer 3 slices of the roast pork followed by slices of ham, Swiss cheese, and pickles.

Step 8

Butter the bread and add to a panini press. Press the sandwich until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown, about 4 minutes each side.

Step 9

Remove and cut the sandwich in half. Serve immediately with extra pickles and potato chips.

cuban sandwich with roast pork, ham, swiss cheese and pickles

How to Make a Cuban Without a Panini Press

This sandwich requires a panini press or, if you don’t have a sandwich press then use another skillet stacked on top of the sandwich as a weight to press it cooked in a cast iron pan. Flip the sandwich half way through cooking. While traditional Cubans don’t include mayonnaise I like to add a little bit to my hot sandwiches because it melts into the bread and keeps everything moist.

Cuban Sandwich with Mojo Marinated Roast Pork

cuban sandwich with roast pork, ham, swiss cheese and pickles
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Prep Time 6 hrs
Cook Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Serves 4 (6-inch) sandwiches

Ingredients:

For the mojo marinated roast pork:

  • 3 pound boneless pork shoulder
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 packed cup cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • ¼ packed cup oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Cuban sandwiches:

  • 2 (12-inch) loaves Cuban bread (or French bread)
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • 12 slices thinly sliced ham
  • 12 slices Swiss cheese
  • 4 Dill pickles, thinly sliced
  • Unsalted butter, at room temperature, as needed for pressing

Instructions:

For the mojo marinated roast pork:

  • Trim any excess fat from the pork shoulder.
  • In a blender add the olive oil, garlic, cilantro, orange zest, orange juice, lime zest, lime juice, vinegar, oregano, cumin salt and pepper, and pulse to combine.
  • Put the pork in a re-sealable 1-gallon plastic bag; add the marinade and close, removing any air. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Let the pork come to room temperature. Place a rack in a roasting pan and add the meat. Roast for 20 minutes then lower the temperature to 325º. Continue to roast until a thermometer inserted into the middle of the roast reads 185º, about 4 hours.
  • Let the meat rest for about 30 minutes before slicing. Thinly slice the pork and set aside.

For the Cuban sandwiches:

  • Slice the bread in half so you now have 4 rolls, then slice each piece in half lengthwise. Spread mayonnaise on the bottom of each sandwich and mustard on the top half of each sandwich. To assemble the sandwich, layer 3 slices of the roast pork followed by slices of ham, Swiss cheese, and pickles.
  • Close the sandwich and spread butter on the Panini press and on the top of the bread. If using a skillet, heat over medium heat, add butter and allow to melt. Add the Cuban and the other skillet as a weight on top. Press the sandwich until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown, about 4 minutes each side.
  • Remove and cut the sandwich in half on a 45º diagonal. Serve immediately with extra pickles on the side.

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