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Cuban Sandwich

Wow, this was awesome! Too bad it’s really complicated, otherwise I would make this again. I followed Tyler’s Ultimate Cuban Sandwich recipe pretty closely, except I used a slow cooker. Now I’m obsessed with slow cooking, haha. I marinated the pork in the juices and spices overnight (after trimming the fat), then cooked the pork on high for about 6 hours. I shredded it and left it in the turned off crockpot for 2 ish hours, covered. I tasted the pork after 4 hours, and I didn’t feel like I tasted enough of the marinade. BUT after 6 hours, it was delicious! It completely fell apart and was so juicy and flavorful.

For the sandwiches, I used day-old french bread. Probably not the best choice, but it was the best I could do. The bread was kind of hard to press, but it worked out ok. The sandwiches were pretty thick, but as long as they were crunchy but not burned, I was happy. I would want to start with a softer (or newer) bread next time, and press even harder. The order of ingredients was bread bottom, yellow mustard, swiss cheese, long slices of dill pickle, virginia ham, pork, cheese, bread top. The only issue was that the pork leaked a little juice onto the bottom piece of bread, and a few of the sandwiches had soggy sides. It wasn’t too bad though.

It was really hard to melt the cheese the way I wanted. Jacob and I pressed the sandwiches on the griddle with my hot cast iron pan for a little bit. Then I transferred them to the 200 degree oven. The first batch got nice and melty while I was pressing the 2nd batch, but everyone was getting impatient waiting for the 2nd batch to melt in the oven. I kept raising the temp, and luckily no sandwich burned or anything. One recipe said to bake the sandwich for 25 minutes at 325 after pressing, and leave the skillet on top.

I am so glad I got to make these sandwiches. Definitely not realistic for Lubbock cooking, but perfect for home cooking! They were delicious!

I made this recipe bigger, because there were 7 of us.

Update – I made Cubans again, and they were amazing! I used a different pork shoulder recipe. I used 2 big oranges, 2 limes, and half of a lemon. I added a few tbsp of oil, a splash of vinegar, the spices, some onion, and some garlic. I poked several slits into the meat so the flavor could go all of the way through. I marinated overnight and then cooked in the oven. My five pounds of bone-in pork shoulder took 5 hours to cook at 300 degrees. I kept peaking though, because I didn’t want to overcook the meat. The meat was cooked with all of the marinade (It came up about half of the meat) and was covered in foil. The temperature of the finished pork is supposed to be 155, but I just cooked until it shredded. I pulled off the fat and the meat was so moist and delicious, especially when tossed with the cooking liquid. I made sure to skim off the fat from the liquid first. I looked at a Food Network recipe for roast pork and from Apartment Therapy. I also looked at an Emeril recipe for Mojo Pork.

For making the cubans, I started with pickles on the bottom, then pork, ham, swiss, and lots of mustard. Soooooo good.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless pork shoulder (I used 2 lbs)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (left out, because I was using a slow cooker instead of a pressure cooker like the recipe states)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and gently smashed with the side of your knife
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice (This took about 8 small oranges)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 long Cuban bread roll (I used two loooong french bread rolls for 8 sandwiches)
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard (I used regular)
  • 8 thin slices Swiss cheese (Each sandwich had about a slice and a half)
  • 1 cup bread and butter pickles (8 slices DILL pickles)
  • 8 thin slices deli ham (1 slice per sandwich)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
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