Pardon the Interruption

I really was planning to bring you Mr. N’s state fair recipe today. It’s been made, photographed and eaten. It’s been patiently waiting in the wings…and it’s going to have to keep waiting. You see tonight we made our first Cuban recipe and well, it just can’t wait. Or, maybe, I just couldn’t wait.

I have to confess I was rooting for Cuba all along. I’ve wanted a Cuban sandwich for years. Why I haven’t had one yet, I don’t really know. But since you all voted for Cuba, I now have no more excuses. So we’ll postpone our state fair dessert for one more post while we share what is probably our most anticipated recipe yet (by Mike and I anyway), The Cuban.

In preparation for the recipe, I did a lot of reading and discovered one thing is essential for a good Cuban – roasted pork. So that’s exactly where we started. We picked up a giant pork shoulder (it was from Costco) and tossed a four pound section into a large mixing bowl. The other three sections went into the freezer. (I think I see quite a bit of pork shoulder in our future this fall and winter.) We also added our seasonings which included bitter orange, boat loads of garlic, salt, pepper and oregano.

After the pork marinated overnight we placed it in a roasting pan and slow roasted it at 325F until it reached an internal temperature of 150F. We then let it rest and cool down, before tossing it in the fridge for dinner later that day.

And dinner couldn’t get here soon enough I tell you. I seriously don’t think I’ve been this excited for a recipe in the history of this blog. Fortunately you don’t have to wait all day like I did, so let’s get rolling. If you have access to Cuban bread that’s a great place to start. Unfortunately we don’t, but we found some good sandwich rolls that made a nice substitute. They were crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.

Then we grabbed ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles and yellow mustard.

Next we sliced up our roasted pork (which made the house smell incredible this morning by the way).

Finally it was time to build the sandwiches. Miss A spread the mustard inside the sandwich rolls and helped to stack the ingredients.

We layered two slices of ham, two slices of thinly cut roast pork, 1-1/2 slices of Swiss cheese and two pickle slices on each roll. We then buttered the outside of the sandwich – top and bottom and tossed them on the grill pan. Traditional Cuban sandwiches are made in a press and will not have grill lines. Since we’re without a Cuban sandwich press we used our roasting pan to press down on the sandwiches.

The result – a sandwich that was beyond delicious. In fact, I’m still thinking about it. Fortunately, we have enough roasted pork that we’ll be eating this again later in the week.Β 

Now even though I was highly anticipating this sandwich, I was a little nervous about pickles and yellow mustard. I’m not usually a big pickle fan and I never eat yellow mustard unless it’s mixed with ketchup or mayo. Fortunately the sandwich lived up to its hype and was well worth the wait – pickles and yellow mustard included. The ingredients of this sandwich just work – from the tangy pickle, to the juicy pork.

In fact it was almost one of those rare 4 spoon-all-around events. Mike, Mr. N and I all loved this meal and gave it a strong 4 spoons.

As for our dissenter, Miss A gave it a 3 spoon vote. She liked it, but in pieces. A bit of ham here, a little pork there, some bread and then a bit of cheese. All separate from one another of course. In all fairness, this was an extremely filling sandwich and far more than she could possibly eat.

She did, however, give the sweet potato fries an 18 spoon vote before doing a back walkover off her kitchen chair. I swear this child can turn anything into a gymnastics apparatus. Mr. N and I also gave the fries 4 spoons. Thanks Greg and Katherine for the delicious recipe. Mr. N even said that he thought this meal could be served in a restaurant!

There you have it. Our first Cuban recipe and it was a good one. If you’ve never had a Cuban, I highly recommend giving it a shot. You won’t be disappointed. This is one of those sandwiches that you’ll end up craving from time to time. (Okay, probably more often than that, but there is that tiny issue of healthy eating.)

Now, as for that poor little state fair dessert waiting in the wings, we’ll get to sharing that over the weekend. (It just doesn’t come close to touching the Cuban in my opinion though.) After that, we’ll have the special recipe Mike whipped up for my birthday this past weekend before returning with another Cuban recipe.

You may notice it’s going to be a little quiet around here for a few weeks, but we have good reason and we’ll bring those pics around soon too. Until then, I’ll leave you with the birthday cake my dad made for me last year and that I’ll be enjoying Wednesday evening. Yum! (Yes, we’re eating in good, celebratory style this week!) Cheers everyone!Β 

Print this recipe: Cuban Roasted Pork
Print this recipe: The Cuban

47 thoughts on “Pardon the Interruption

  1. Jessica Maher (@kbelleicious) says:

    yes, great minds improvise and love that you used the pan instead of the press. So sorry I am just now saying Happy B-day! How did I miss this post last week? I swear I came by here? Oh well, happy bday and everything looks amazing, especially that cake


    • Kristy says:

      I’m not a big meat eater myself. It’s not that I don’t like it, I just tend to eat more fish or veggies. But I have to say, this sandwich could change all that! Thank you for visiting. πŸ™‚


  2. A_Boleyn says:

    I’d have to leave out the gherkins (hate pickles of all kind including olives, saurekraut) but the rest sounds very tasty. πŸ™‚ I think from the pink in the picture that you left the inside of the pork a little rare. I always cook all the way through and it dries up on reheating.


    • Kristy says:

      We did leave it a little pink. I was nervous at first, but my dad and Mike insisted it was ok. πŸ˜‰ Usually I’d be with you on the pickles and olives, but in this case they worked for me.


  3. Profiteroles & Ponytails says:

    Hmmm, I have some left-over roast pork …but it is back pork loin, not shoulder. I’m wondering if I could make a decent version of this Cuban Sandwhich with what I have. Your restaurant-worthy version has me wanting to give it a go! Viva la Cuba!

    Happy Birthday . . . hope you celebrate in style and find a few quite minutes for yourself!


  4. Eva Taylor says:

    We love a Cuban sandwich but like you never attempted to make one at home. This one sounds great and lots of leftovers. Pickles and yellow mustard is something we used to eat, maybe it has German roots not sure.


  5. Geni - Sweet and Crumby says:

    This Cuban sandwich looks like pure perfection We have a locally famous Cuban bakery/restaurant down the corner from work and honestly, no fingers are crossed here, your sandwich looks a million times better! So golden and hearty Kristy.

    BTW…a very happy belated birthday! I am also very intrigued about your upcoming busy days. I love surprises, big and little. Hmmmm…..


  6. Three Well Beings says:

    I have access to Cuban bakeries and have heard of the sandwiches…but I’ve never tried one! This sounds like such a good combination of flavors. The bitter orange was a surprise taste I wouldn’t have anticipated. Interesting! Best of birthday wishes! Sounds like you have plans to celebrate? πŸ™‚


  7. ceciliag says:

    I have to say honey that really does look good and i have pork in my freezer! Though i will have to make the breads as it is so far to the supermarket.. what a stunning sandwich.. excellent.. One day i am going to go to cuba.. evidently it is beautiful.. c


  8. ChgoJohn says:

    There’s nothing like a good Cuban — and I’m talking sandwich not cigar! Yours looks oh, so very good, Kristy. I, too, bought a large pork shoulder and cut it up into sections for roasting and sausage making.
    I hope you have the best of birthdays and an even better year to come! πŸ™‚


    • Kristy says:

      Ah…a good Cuban followed by a good Cuban. That would be quite enjoyable. πŸ˜‰ (Mike and I may have tried one of the other variety some years ago while in the Dominican. πŸ˜‰ )


  9. Karen says:

    Living so long in Miami, I’ve eaten my share of Cuban sandwiches and make them myself. You did a terrific job! Have a wonderful birthday week long celebration.


  10. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles says:

    OMG, look at those sweet potato fries!! (sorry, it must be the Irish in me ;-)). What an ingenious idea using your roasting pan in place of a traditional press and I can’t believe (well, actually I can…) that Miss A is doing back walkovers already! You’ve got me very intrigued with the idea of your silence over the next ‘few’ weeks…hmmm…another adventure in store, perhaps? Can’t wait to read about it! :).


  11. helene dsouza says:

    Thats what I call a solid sandwich!! ham,chees, gherkin and a good piece of roasted pork, that kind of sounds like austria or even france (just as charles said panini), just that u added bitter orange flavores to the marination. I am very surprised that this recipe is cuban. These people have taste! ^.^

    I guess I speak for all if I say WE WANT MORE CUBAN!


  12. Charles says:

    Oh, what a lovely looking sandwich – reminds me of a pannini! πŸ˜€ I’d never heard of this type of sandwich before but I’d love it… that photo with all the cheese, ham and pickles as well – oh yes! Great post – looking forward to more Cubanism (Cubism?) too, and a very happy birthday for last weekend too πŸ™‚


  13. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    Looks soooo good! Although I didn’t pick Cuban I have to say I’m glad everyone else picked Cuban food! You are so detailed about not having grilled mark on the sandwich because traditional ones don’t. I like how you follow and try to be as authentic as possible. I love the costco’s sandwich bread and I always buy them. πŸ™‚ Great recipe!!


  14. Smart Food and Fit (@LisaNutrition) says:

    You gotta love Costco for their great prices and selection on meat! πŸ™‚ I was just going over my menu planning for next week and thought I should add pork to the menu, it’s been a long time since I’ve made a pork dish. My mouth is watering just looking at your photo’s and I bet this would make a great school lunch, my 5th grader would go crazy for this one! Have a Happy Birthday this week, enjoy your time with the family! πŸ™‚


  15. Dawn says:

    Ok, you have to know how much we love pork in our family – this looks awesome, I just love a good cuban sandwich!!! Nice job :). Happy Birthday this week!!!


  16. hotlyspiced says:

    That’s a fantastic looking Cuban sandwich and yes, definitely restaurant quality. I’ve heard of the Cuban sandwich but didn’t actually know what was in it. I would love to try this. That pork shoulder must have been so delicious after being marinated overnight with all those seasonings. Looking forward to seeing what’s coming up next. Sounds like you’ve been very busy and happy birthday! xx


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