Recipe by ratherbeswimmin'
It is generally believed that the Cuban cigar workers who migrated to the Tampa, FL area/Ybor City back in the early 1900's brought the Cuban sandwich to the US. Originally called the "mixto" or mixed sandwich, the Cuban, as it is known today, became a workingman's lunch for those employed in the cigar industry. Note--if you can't get sour oranges in your area, try equal parts of orange and grapefruit juice or 2 parts orange juice to 1 part lemon juice and 1 part lime juice.
Cuban Roast Pork
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 cup minced onion
- 1 cup sour orange juice
- 1⁄2 cup Spanish olive oil
- 1 (2 lb) boneless center cut pork loin roast
- Cuban bread
- butter, softened
- sliced dill pickle
- 1 lb thinly sliced cuban cooked pork
- 1 lb thinly sliced good-quality ham
- 1⁄2 lb thinly sliced mild swiss cheese
- yellow mustard (optional)
- mayonnaise (optional)
Directions See How It's Made
- To make the Cuban Roast Pork: Mash the garlic and salt together using a mortar/pestle.
- Place the mash mixture in a small bowl; add in oregano, onion, and sour orange juice; mix thoroughly.
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat; add in the mash mixture and whisk to blend.
- Remove from heat and set marinade aside.
- Pierce the pork roast with a sharp knife or fork.
- Set aside a small amount of the marinade for use during the roasting period.
- Pour remaining marinade over the pork, cover, and refrigerate 2-3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 325°; remove pork from marinade and place on a rack in a roasting pan.
- Sprinkle reserved marinade over pork.
- Roast until completely cooked and a meat thermometer registers 160° (about 20 minutes per lb).
- Baste occasionally with the pan juices.
- Remove pork from oven and let rest for at least 20 minutes before thinly slicing the meat.
- Bring remaining pan juices to a boil and simmer until juice is reduced by half; use this juice to sprinkle onto the meat in the sandwiches.
- To make the sandwiches: cut the bread into 4 sections, each about 8 inches long; slice these sections in half horizontally; spread butter on the inside of both halves.
- Generously layer sandwiches with filling ingredients in the following order: pickles, roasted pork, ham, and cheese.
- Spread with the optional mustard or mayonnaise if desired.
- Preheat a pancake griddle or large skillet.
- Lightly coat hot griddle or skillet with cooking spray; add in the first sandwich (make sure that your griddle or skillet is not too hot or the crust will burn before the cheese melts).
- Place a heavy iron skillet on top of the sandwich to flatten it (you want to smash the sandwich, compressing the bread to about a third of its original size).
- Grill the sandwich for 2-3 minutes on each side, until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden.
- Repeat the process for each sandwich.
- Slice each sandwich in half diagonally and serve.
- Note--Additions like Genoa salami, mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, and onion have become popular in the past forty years but are considered heresy by purists; in the old days, the sandwich was brushed on the outside with a small amount of pork drippings.