A good Cuban sandwich is something that you will always remember. The crusty bread, the pickle, the Dijon mustard, and not to mention the pork. The key to this sandwich is to roast the pork to exactly 170 degrees Fahrenheit. It allows it to be tender enough to bite through, but firm enough to cut into slices. The bread is important, but I’ll leave it up to you to determine what type of bread to use. Personally I like sliced Hawaiian bread as it adds a layer of sweetness to it that cuts through the fat of the pork. The recipe I am sharing with you calls for hoagie buns as that is the easiest to construct the sandwich with.
I like make this sandwich with my Cuban Black Bean Soup. The last time I made it, I used Hawaiian buns and it was wonderful. As I said, the type of bread is up to you and I encourage you to try different ones until you find one you like. Dipping the sandwich in the soup bring a whole new depth of flavor.
2-2.5 lb pork shoulder roast
12 oz India Pale Ale
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large white onion, peeled and quarted
2 lbs deli ham, thick sliced (about 12 slices)
5-6 T Dijon mustard
12 slices Swiss cheese
24-30 slices of dill pickles
12 T butter, softened
salt and pepper
6 hoagie buns
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over roast, coating it on all sides. Heat Dutch oven or heavy skillet over high heat. Sear roast on all sides, about 5-7 minutes a side.
Remove roast from pan and deglaze with beer. If not using a Dutch oven, transfer liquid to high wall roasting pan and add onions and garlic. Add roast and loosely cover. If using a Dutch oven, add onion and garlic to beer and return roast and drippings to pan. Cover and place in over for 2-2.5 hours or until internal temperature reached 170 degrees.
Remove roast and let rest for at least 20 minutes. Slice into 12 ¼ inch slices.
Turn oven up to 425 degrees.
Butter rolls and brown cut side up in oven for 5 minutes or until rolls are slightly browned and crusty.
In a heavy skillet or cast iron pan, over medium heat, place bottom bun in 1 T melted butter. Layer with 2 slices of cheese, 2 slices roast, 2 slices deli ham and 4 slices of pickle. Spread about 1 T mustard on top bun and top sandwich in pan. Weigh down with a second pan and a foil covered brick. Sear for 4-6 minutes and flip, continuing to sear for 3-5 minutes, until cheese is melted and sandwich is heated through.
Continue for the other 5 sandwiches.
Another option, if you wish a non-traditional sandwich with the same flavors, is to smoke the pork shoulder using the technique outlined in Barbecue.
This is also nicely paired with some oven baked shoestring fries.
As per usual, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask.