We love the movie “The Chef”. The first time we watched it, my son was very curious about the cubano. He had never heard of it before and he started pestering me to make one so he could taste it. I had to start my investigating and figuring out how to make the best cubano so he could understand what it was and enjoy the experience. Here is what I came up with.
The cubano has quite a few ingredients, but that’s what makes it so delicious. The cubano sandwich comprises of two types of pork. One is slices of deli ham (which I will not take credit for – I just walk over to the local deli and pick it up), the second is a home made roast pork shoulder.
The roasted pork
The roasted pork is the best part of this sandwich in my opinion. To make the pork, we coat it with delicious spices. The spice mix comprises of 3 tablespoons of ground cumin, 3 tablespoons of paprika, 3 tablespoons of onion powder, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper and 1 tablespoon of salt (or to taste).
Mix all the dry spices in a bowl and rub them all over a 2 1/2 pound pork shoulder. Make sure to rub both top and bottom and all sides too.
Slice 2 red onions and place them at the bottom of a baking dish. Place your pork shoulder on top of the onions and place 1 sprig of fresh rosemary and 2 sprigs of fresh thyme on top of the shoulder. Add one cup of water to the baking dish and cover with aluminium foil. The liquid helps keep the pork moist as it cooks. Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for up to 1 1/2 hrs covered.
Remove from the oven and take the foil off. By now the pork should have rendered all it’s fat and liquid and there should be liquid at the bottom of the baking dish. Fret not, it will all dry up when you place the shoulder back into the oven for another hour or so. I like my roast more on the well done side, but if you prefer your a more rare roast, only cook it for an 45 mins uncovered. When ready, the inside of the roasted pork should read approximately 155 degrees F.
Let the roasted pork sit and rest in the baking dish for about 5 mins after it comes out of the oven. Remove the pork from the pan and using a sharp knife slice it into 1/4 inch slices. We like thicker slices, but you can always make them thinner if you prefer.
As the shoulder cooks, so do the onions, but they absorb all of the delicious flavours of the spice rub as well as the pork renderings. We are going to use these delicious onions in the Cubano.
Assembling the Cubano Sandwich
To assemble the cubano, the first step is to toast the bread. I use a skillet that has grids on it that give it the beautiful lines. Spread 1/2 tablespoon of room temperature butter onto each faces of the sandwich buns and toast them on the skillet -buttered side down. You could use just a regular skillet or toast the buns first and then butter them.
Once the buns are done, spread a liberal layer of dijon mustard on the bottom half of the bun. I use up to 1 tablespoon of it, but you can use as much or as little as you like. Remember the onions we had saved from the roasting pan, this is where they come in. Place a liberal amount of the onions on to the bun. Now you can assemble the sandwich in any way you like.
I go with the roasted pork on top of the onions, then the deli ham, then the cheese and then the pickles. Place the top half of the bun to make a sandwich. Generally you would place the sandwich back on the skillet and cook it some more, but my son prefers it just the way it is – perhaps because he doesn’t have the patience to wait any longer.
Enjoy with a side of green salad or any vegetables of your choice.
The Cubano SandwichCourse: EntreeCuisine: CubanDifficulty: Easy
This Cubano is a variation of the ham and cheese sandwich, that comes with an extra layer of roasted pork. The pork is spiced and roasted to perfection to get the best flavour possible.
- Roasted pork
2 1/2 lb pork shoulder
2 large red onions
3 tablespoons of ground cumin
3 tablespoons of paprika
3 tablespoons of onion powder
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon salt (or to taste)
1 sprig or fresh rosemary
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 cup of water
- Cubano Sandwich
4 sandwich buns
4 tablespoons room temperature butter
4 tablespoons dijon mustard
200 grams of sliced deli ham
8 slices jalapeno havarti cheese
8 large pickle slices
- Roasted pork
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Slice the 2 red onions.
- Combine the cumin, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, dried oregano and salt in a bowl.
- Rub the dry spice mix all over the pork shoulder – top and bottom as well as all sides.
- Place the sliced onions on the bottom of a baking dish.
- Place the pork shoulder on top of the onions and pour 1 cup of water in the pan. Make sure not to pour it on top of the shoulder so the spices don’t get washed off.
- Cover the pork with aluminium foil and cook for 1 1/2 hours covered. Remove from the oven, take the foil off and return to the oven for another hour or so. The inside temperature should read at least 155 degrees F when ready.
- Let the pork rest for about 5 mins after you remove it from the oven. Reserve the onions for the sandwich. Slice the pork into 1/4 inch slices.
- Assembling the cubano
- Slice the sandwich buns lengthwise into half. Butter each side of the bun with 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Toast the buns on a skillet – butter side down. Or if you prefer, toast the buns first and then butter them.
- Liberally spread dijon mustard on the bottom half of the bun. Place the reserved onions on top of the mustard.
- Next place the sliced deli ham on top of the onions, then the sliced roasted pork, two slices of the cheese, two slices of pickles and then place the top of the bun back to make a sandwich.
- Enjoy with a side of green salad or any vegetable of choice.
– Check out other Entree recipes here.