Cuban Sandwich (plus a cookbook giveaway!)

from Pure Pork Awesomeness by Kevin Gillespie


For the Slow-Cooked Pork Barbacoa:

  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 5 pound bone-in pork shoulder
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 10 cloves garlic peeled
  • 3 dried bay leaves

For the Cuban Sandwich:

  • 1 1/4 cups mayo
  • juice of 1 large orange
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 5 gloves garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 4 Cuban-style sandwich loaves or 1 loaf brioche or challah, cut into slices
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1 cup grated Gouda cheese
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 4 ounces thick-sliced deli ham
  • dill pickle slices preferably flat, thinly sliced


To make the Slow-Cooked Pork Barbacoa:

  1. Heat oven to 350F.
  2. In a small bowl, combine salt, chili powder, cinnamon, and cloves. Pat the pork dry and generously season all over with the salt mixture. Cut a large piece (about 24 inches) of heavy-duty foil and place in a roasting pan. Add the roast, onion, garlic, and bay leaves and wrap everything up tightly in the foil. Roast for 3 1/2 hours.
  3. Remove from over and let rest, wrapped in foil, for 30 minutes. Discard the onion, garlic, and bay leaves before shredding the meat.

To make the Cuban Sandwiches:

  1. In a blender, combine the mayo, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1 tablespoon lime juice, garlic, cumin, and salt and blend until smooth. Add the cilantro and blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. The order of assembly is important here! Spread the bottom slice of bread with mustard and sprinkle with the Gouda. Build the rest of the sandwich on the top slice of bread, starting with the Gruyere, following by a slice of ham and the Barbacoa. Place a liberal layer of pickles over the pork, and top that with a full-on slathering of the cilantro mayo. Flip the bottom up onto the top and press down firmly to compact.
  3. Cook the sandwich grilled cheese-style on low heat until the bread is browned and the cheese is melted.