Cubano, Cuban Ham and Cheese Sandwich

Cuban Ham and Cheese SandwichBest sandwich ever! Now, some people may disagree with me. There are more elaborate, gourmet sandwiches and there are simple sandwiches, but when you’re hungry and looking for a descent, dare I say amazing sandwich you gotta eat a cubano. Don’t forget to pair it with a cerveza. I got hooked on these ever since watching Jon Favreau’s movie “Chef“. After seeing their expressions when they tasted the sandwich I was totally sold on trying it. After all, that’s what I strive for when I make food is to bring that “OMFG, this is amazing” feeling to my patrons. This recipe is a mashup from one I found on Saveur and one on Zagat, the later which references the movie “Chef“.

Ingredients:

  • 8-inch-long soft baguettes or ciabatta, split lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1⁄2 cup Mojo-Marinated roast pork shoulder, shredded (recipe follows)
  • 3 slices deli ham
  • 3 slices Swiss cheese
  • 10 dill pickle chips
  • 1 tbsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil or softened butter, for brushing

Method:

  1. Heat a large cast-iron griddle or panini press. Add the ham slices to the griddle and cook
    over moderate heat, turning once, until browned in spots, about 1 minute. Transfer the ham to a plate.
  2. Generously butter the cut sides of each baguette and toast on the griddle over moderate heat until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the baguettes to a work surface and spread mayonnaise on bottom half of roll.
  3. Layer with pork, ham, cheese, and pickle chips. Spread mustard on top half of roll and close the sandwich.
  4. Generously brush the outside of the sandwiches with canola or butter and set them on the griddle or press; if using a griddle, top the sandwiches with a large baking sheet and weigh it down with a cast-iron skillet. Cook the sandwiches over moderate heat until they’re golden brown and crisp on the outside and the cheese is melted, about 3 minutes per side on a griddle or 3 minutes total in a press. Slice the sandwich in half diagonally on a long bias.

Mojo-Marinated Pork Shoulder:

  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup lightly packed cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. finely grated orange zest
  • ¾ cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup lightly packed mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. minced oregano
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3½ lbs. boneless pork shoulder, in one piece

Method:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients except salt, pepper and the pork. Whisk
    in 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Transfer the marinade to a large resealable plastic bag and add the pork. Seal the bag and turn to coat; set in a baking dish and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425° and set a rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the pork to a work surface; discard the marinade. fold the pork under itself, into thirds if necessary, and tie with string to form a neat roll. Season all over with salt and pepper and set it on the rack.
  3. Roast the pork for 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Reduce the oven temperature to 375° and roast for 1 hour and 30 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 160°; transfer to a carving board and let rest for 30 minutes. Discard the string before slicing across the grain.

Recipe courtesy of Los Angeles chef Roy Choi of Sunny Spot

Now if you’re desperate for a Cubano and you don’t have time to roast the pork you could get some of Lou’s pulled pork, drain off the excess bbq sauce and you’re good to go. It’s not the same, but it’ll do in a pinch.