Cuban sandwiches have been popular in a wide range of establishments, from diners to fine dining establishments, and it’s easy to see why. A Cuban sandwich was introduced to me in Union City, New Jersey, a city with a majority-Hispanic population of nearly 80%.
Nearly every Latin American cuisine is represented, and I still go Union City’s Cuba Bakery to acquire authentic Cuban sandwiches that grease the paper bag in which they arrive.
When I saw the movie Chef recently, however, I was reminded of those delicious sandwiches. The Cuban Sandwich was the movie’s real star, in my opinion. The main guy starts a food truck serving Cubanos and fried plantains.
Tostones are a must-have accompaniment to this Cubano, so check out our simple recipe. Pepperoni is a personal but not original addition to our Cubano recipe.
Of course, purists may scoff at my inclusion of it, but I adore it. However, if you choose, you can omit it entirely.
As a bonus, this Cuban sandwich recipe includes extensive directions on how to make pernil, which is fortunate because it’s a delicious pig snack in and of itself! Here’s the recipe for this delicious sandwich.
- 3 1/2 lb of bone-in pork shoulder roast
- 3 cloves of minced garlic
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 diced onion
- 1/3 cup of orange juice
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
- 12 slices of pepperoni
- 8 slices of ham
- 4 sandwich rolls
- 4 thick slices of Swiss cheese
- 4 tablespoons of yellow mustard
- 4 tablespoons of softened butter
- Sweet pickle slices
- Put the pork shoulder in a big, sturdy bowl or zip-top bag. Use a sharp knife to stab the meat many times. In a basin, combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, onion, oregano, garlic, orange juice, and bay leaves. Pour the mixture over the pork, massage it into the meat, and let the liquid seep into the knife-made holes. Give the meat at least 4 hours or even the entire night to marinate.
- Place the roast in a roasting pan and pour the entire marinade over it. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Roast for 30 minutes, then turn down the heat to 325 degrees F. Roast the meat for about another hour, basting it every 15 minutes. If the liquid in the pan gets too dry, add a little water, about a quarter cup.
- Gather the remaining ingredients for your sandwich and set the cooked pork aside to rest for 30 minutes.
- Slice the buns in half and set them aside until assembly time. Each roll should have a mustard spread on both sides. Add a few slices of the roast pork and drizzle with some of the pan drippings. If using, add layers of ham and pepperoni. Stack pickles on top, then add a slice of cheese. Add the second slice of bread on top.
- A griddle or pan should be heated to medium. Take each sandwich and generously butter the bread’s outside on both sides. Place on the pan and press with a heavy object (like a cast iron skillet) and aluminum foil. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes until brown and toasted on the bottom. The sandwiches should be cooked on the opposite side for an additional three to five minutes, or until the cheese is nicely melted and the sandwich is crispy.