Toasted bread, Slow cooked Mojo seasoned pork, creamy mustard, crunchy dill pickles and melted Swiss cheese make this a delicious Cuban Sandwich with Mojo Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder.
This sandwich is a crowd pleaser using my recipe for homemade Mojo Marinade and Mojo Slow Roasted Pork.
This sandwich pairs well with a lager or with a margarita like this great Blood Orange Margarita.
The Origin of the Cuban Sandwich
The Cuban Sandwich originated in cafes catering to Cuban workers in Tampa. It is believed that the sandwich was a regular lunch food for workers in Cigars and sugar mills in Cuba especially in Havana and Santiago de Cuba in the 1860s.
Later on, Cuban exiles and expatriates brought it to Miami.
The Sandwich consist of ham, Mojo roasted pork, mustard, Swiss cheese, and pickles. Salami is added in Tampa which makes it a Mixto but salami is not added in South Florida.
A "true" Cuban sandwich is made with Cuban Bread. Italian bread can be a substitute if you can't find Cuban bread in your area.
Ingredients to make the Cuban Sandwich
**See the Recipe Card below for detailed measurements and directions**
- Bread - Usually Cuban Bread is used to make the Cubano but it is not easy to find unless you live in an area where Cuban bread is sold like Florida or order online from La Segunda Bakery. They have been making cuban bread for over 100 years. The closest (I say this with skepticism) is French or Italian bread. For this recipe I am using a loaf of French bread.
- Mustard - Cuban sandwiches recipes usually call for yellow mustard but I prefer Dijon mustard.
- Ham - Black forest ham is what I am using for this recipe. Smoking ham can be used or any ham of your preference.
- Cheese - Swiss Cheese is the choice but Gruyere or Emmentale are great substitutions.
- Pickles - Classic cuban sandwiches must be made with thinly sliced dill pickles.
- Mojo Marinated Slow Roasted Pork - Pork butt or Shoulder is ideal. The mojo marinade is what gives it that delicious Cuban/Caribbean flavor and tenderness. Pernil or lechon is a great alternative to use in Cuban Sandwiches.
- Butter - to achieve that crust and crunch that Cuban sandwiches are known for you MUST use butter, there is no other way around. Butter makes everything better! I suggest using Kerigold.
Steps to create the best Cuban Sandwich with Mojo Slow Roasted Pork
1. Make the Mojo Marinade.
- in a bowl combine the orange, lemon, lime juice, adobo seasoning, sea salt, minced garlic, oregano, sofrito .
2. Slowly add olive oil and whisk to emulsify.
2. Marinade the Pork
3. In a dutch oven place the pork butt and pour the Mojo Marinade all over the pork.
4. Pork should be almost covered in the marinade. Cover with lid and refrigerate overnight.
3. Roasting the Pork
This part takes the longest but it is so worth it because the pork is so tender and seasoned!
Take the pork out of the refrigerator 30-45 mins prior you are ready to roast. Bringing the pork to room temperature cooks it evenly and prevents overcooking.
5. Preheat the oven at 275 degrees. Place the dutch oven covered the lid in the middle rack. Cook pork for 3 hours.
After the 3 hours, uncover, raise the temperature to 350 degrees and cook for another 1 ½ hours.
6. Remove dutch oven and let it rest in a trivet in the counter for about 20 mins. Shred pork. Now you are ready to put together your sandwiches.
4. Put together the Cuban Sandwich with Mojo Slow Roasted Pork
7. Using a serrated knife cut bead lengthwise. Spread Dijon mustard on both sides.
8. Add the Mojo Slow Roasted Pork on one side of the bread covering it entirely.
9. Layer slices Black Forest Ham to the opposite side overlapping the slices with each other.
10. Layer the Swiss Cheese on top of the Black Forest Ham, overlapping the slices with each other.
11. Add a layer Dill Pickles on top of the pork.
12. Carefully close sandwich and slather with butter on each side.
5. Toasting the Cuban Sandwich
This is a crucial step to create that crust that I love so much in a Cuban Sandwich. You cant' skip the butter. It is a MUST.
Cuban Sandwiches are toasted to perfection using a Plancha or Panini grill. Just like the one pictured below. Here is the link for the same Panini Press from Cuisinart. You don't need a plancha necessarily, a stove griddle or comal can be used instead.
13. Preheat Panini to 350 degrees. Place the sandwich and press down to flatten for about 4 mins. This will create those beautiful panini lines. This can be done longer if you want it crunchier. Just be careful not to burn it. Remove and cut in half diagonally. Cheese should be melted! Listo! You made your first Cuban sandwich at home!
Substitutions and Alternatives
Traditionally Pork is what it's used for the Cuban Sandwich. Listen, get creative but you cannot call it a Cuban Sandwich if you change the entirety of the sandwich.
However, use chicken instead of pork. Vegan Pork, Ham and Cheese.
Storage and Reheating
You should eat a Cuban sandwich immediately. But if you must, remove pickles and place them in a separate container. Store sandwich in a air tight container. Refrigerate.
Reheat the Cuban Sandwich a panini grill at 325 degrees until toasted. It can also be reheated in the Air Fryer. Preheat air fryer at 350 degrees and air crisp for 4-5 mins.
The Cuban Sandwich can be served with:
- Air Fryer Seasoned Fries with Spicy Mayo Ketchup
- Black Beans
- Arroz Mamposteao
- Plantain Chips
- Yucca Chips
- Yucca Frita
There are two version of a Cuban Sandwich: The Miami and the Tampa Cuban Sandwich. Both are made with the classic ingredients of Cuban Bread, Roasted Pork, Ham, Swiss Cheese, Mustard and Pickles. However, what differentiate the two is that the Tampa Cuban Sandwich has Genoa Salami, where the Miami does not.
Cuban bread is thin, with a crusty layer and soft center but it is also hard to find. You can order it online at La Segunda Bakery. French or Italian bread is a good substitute. Pan Sobao is an excellent substitute as well as Ciabatta Bread. Bolillo or Telera can be found at the Mexican market can be used as well.
Lard is one of the main ingredients in the making of Cuban Bread which gives it the crusty outside layer. If you are making Cuban Bread from scratch you can omit the lard and use Vegetable shortening.
Cuban sandwiches pair well with a crisp pilsner or lager.
Cuba Libre cocktail which essentially is rum and coke with a squeeze of lime.
Traditional Mojito and a Classic Margarita are also great.
If you prefer wine, a Pinot Noir or Chardonnay pair very well.
Honestly it can't be called a Cuban Sandwich if it's not made with Roasted Pork. But if you are adamant, use roasted chicken. If you follow a vegan lifestyle, Vegan Pork, Ham and Cheese can be used.
If you make this recipe I'd love to hear from you! Leave me a comment below.
Cuban Sandwich With Mojo Slow Roasted Pork
- Cutting Board + Knife
- Panini Press
- Butter Knife
- 1 Italian or French bread loaf
- 12 Slices Ham
- 12 Slices Swiss Cheese
- Yellow Or Dijon Mustard
- Dill Pickle Slices
- Mojo Slow Roasted Pork Sliced/Shredded (Recipe Below)
MAKE THE MOJO MARINADE
- In a bowl add orange, lime and lemon juice.
- Add adobo, sofrito, oregano,sea salt, garlic
- Whisk Olive oil until it emulsifies.
MARINADE THE PORK
- In a dutch oven place the pork butt and pour the Mojo Marinade all over the pork.
- Pork should be almost covered in the marinade. Cover with lid and refrigerate overnight.
ROASTING THE PORK
- Take the pork out of the refrigerator 30-45 mins prior you are ready to roast.
- Preheat the oven at 275 degrees. Place the dutch oven covered the lid in the middle rack. Cook pork for 3 hours.
- After the 3 hours, uncover, raise the temperature to 350 degrees and cook for another 1 ½ hours.
- Remove dutch oven and let it rest in a trivet in the counter for about 20 mins. Shred pork. Now you are ready to put together your sandwiches.
PUT TOGETHER THE CUBANO SANDWICH WITH MOJO SLOW ROASTED PORK
- Using a serrated knife cut bead lengthwise. Spread Dijon mustard on both sides.
- Add the Mojo Slow Roasted Pork on one side of the bread covering it entirely.
- Layer the ham, Swiss cheese and pickles.
- Carefully close sandwich and slather with butter on each side.
TOASTING THE CUBANO SANDWICH
- Preheat Panini to 350 degrees. Place the sandwich and press down to flatten for about 4 mins. This will create those beautiful panini lines. This can be done longer if you want it crunchier. Just be careful not to burn it. Remove and cut in half diagonally. Cheese should be melted!