Cuban Sandwich

4-6 Sandwiches
11 hr

I have never had the opportunity to visit Havana and enjoy all the culinary treats of the city and country it calls home. I have been fortunate enough to visit Cuba’s closest geographical US point, Key West. As diverse as the food scene is in Key West, the one treat I always go back for (several times) is the Cubano or Cuban sandwich. While no one can quite pinpoint the exact time or place of this pressed sandwich’s origin, there is no shortage of places to find it in South Florida.

Consisting of roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, a little mustard, and pickles all wrapped up in a loaf of Cuban bread nicely toasted. One of my favorite things about this sandwich is that much like the New Orleans born muffuletta, the Cuban is as good (if not a little better) at room temperature than warmed a tad. This makes it a perfect take and go sit somewhere sammich.

The roast pork in the sandwich is my favorite part. For mine, I marinate some pork shoulder overnight in some orange juice, lime juice, and a boatload of garlic. It tastes fantastic on its own. For the ham, I go with Chisesi’s Ham from New Orleans. It is a fantastic ham. If you don’t have Chisesi’s near you, use whichever deli ham you like. Or, if you have some leftover ham from Easter or Thanksgiving that works just as well.

Cuban bread is very close to the more recognized French bread. Just a few minor differences separate the two. If you have access to a bakery that turns out Cuban bread, one, you are super lucky and I’m jealous. Two, definitely use that for this recipe. If not, you have two recourses: Buy a loaf of French bread or use  this recipe from King Arthur Flour to make Cuban bread rolls, which is what I did.

A sandwich press works best for this recipe but if you haven’t one, use a skillet and a heavy-duty spatula and cook as though you would a grilled cheese. Just typing this makes me wish I was eating a Cuban in Key West. But, since we can’t right now, this will have to do.

Look at those layers!

One of our favorite Cuban sandwiches is from Cochon Butcher in New Orleans. This Cuban is what inspired us to make our own! Visit to see so many more recipes from us!

Recipe details
  • 4-6  Sandwiches
  • Prep time: 8 Hours Cook time: 3 Hours Total time: 11 hr
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For the Roast Pork Marinade
  • 2 cups of orange juice
  • 1/4 cup of lime juice
  • 6 cloves of garlic chopped
  • Dash of oregano
For the Roast Pork Rub
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • Dash of oregano
For the Roast Pork
  • 2 lbs of pork shoulder
  • Marinade (recipe above)
  • Rub (recipe above)
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of orange juice
For the Cuban Sandwich
  • Cuban bread (or french bread)
  • Mustard (I like regular yellow mustard for this recipe.)
  • Roast pork
  • Ham
  • Swiss cheese
  • Pickles
For the Roast Pork Marinade
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
For the Roast Pork Rub
Combine all ingredients in a plastic container or mason jar and shake well.
For the Roast Pork
Add pork to the marinade and let marinate overnight in the fridge.
The next day, take the pork out of the marinade and rinse well.
Dry pork well with paper towels and cover with rub.
Preheat the oven to 300° Fahrenheit. Let pork sit at room temperature for a half-hour.
Heat vegetable oil in a Dutch oven on medium high heat and add pork. Sear pork well on all sides.
Add orange juice, cover pot, and cook in the oven until pork reaches an internal temperature of about 160° Fahrenheit (about 2 hours).
For the Cuban Sandwich
Preheat sandwich press if using.
Slice a piece of Cuban bread in half. Spread a thin layer of mustard on both slices. Then layer cheese, ham, pork, and pickles.
Toast on press until bread is toasty and cheese is nice and melty.
Pontchartrain Kitchen
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