First, comes the sweet buttery bread and then the Best Cuban Sandwich! It’s loaded with Cuban pork roast, cheese, ham, and pickles. It’s a complete meal between two slices of bread. Make plenty because you’re going to love it!
THIS POST HAS BEEN UPGRADED FROM 10/6/16 TO IMPROVE READER EXPERIENCE.
Cuban Sandwich Recipe is a complete meal between two slices of bread. It’s sweet, tangy, eggy, and everything that I could want in a Cuban sandwich.
Do you remember the beautiful Cuban Medianoche Bread that I posted? Well, the Best Cuban Sandwich that’s ever come out of my kitchen was the reason for that beautiful Cuban bread recipe.
Our son lives in Miami and John and I had our first experience with a Miami Cuban Sandwich recipe shortly after he moved there. We fell in love with their authentic Cubano sandwich, and I set out on a quest to make one in my own kitchen.
Since first making my Cuban recipe I’ve learned that there is also a Cuban sandwich called a Medianoche. The Cuban sandwich recipe that I used is featured in the cookbook “Three Guys From Miami Cook Cuban by “The Three Guys” from Miami. They use the Medianoche bread and call it a Cuban Sandwich but technically it could be a Medianoche. I’m just the cook so if you’re passionate about the difference, take it up with the pros!
What is the difference between a Cuban sandwich and a Medianoche?
A Medianoche consists of roast pork, ham, mustard, Swiss cheese, and sweet pickles. It is a close cousin to the Cuban sandwich, the chief difference being that a medianoche is made on soft, sweet egg dough bread similar to Challah rather than on crustier Cuban bread. Cuban bread is a fairly simple white bread, similar to French bread and Italian bread.
How To Make A Cuban Sandwich – There is only one way to build this sandwich!
“The Three Guys” from Miami state there is only one way to build this sandwich. On buttered Medianoche bread, place the pickles, roasted pork, ham and then cheese in that order. Mustard is optional.
I combined Dijon mustard with a little sriracha sauce. The difference is amazing.
Best Cuban Sandwiches Ingredients
- Bread Rolls
- Cuban Roast Pork
- Sliced Ham
- Swiss Cheese
- Dill Pickles
- Mustard – optional
NOTE: You only need 1 pound of the pork for 4 sandwiches, but I baked the entire pork roast so I had plenty for future Cuban sandwiches! I froze my leftover pork for a future dinner which makes a delicious no-fuss meal when we are to busy to cook or just don’t feel like it.
Pin this yummy sandwich to your favorite sandwich board!
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- Panini Press – This is the one that I have. I like that the grates are reversible and become a griddle and that they can be removed for easy cleaning.
- Slotted Spatula – Also called a fish spatula. I use mine for everything. It’s basically replaced my turner spatula.
If you like my Cubano recipe, here are a few more I think you’ll love!
- Italian Hot Beef Sandwich Recipe
- Easy Grilled Thai Peanut Chicken Sandwich
- Toasted Italian Sub Sandwich
- Chicken Scallopini Sandwich
The Best Cuban Sandwich
- 4 Cuban Medianoche Bread rolls
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 lb Cuban Roast Pork
- 8 slices sliced ham (sweet cured, Serrano, or bolo ham – I used honey ham
- 8 slices Swiss Cheese
- Dill pickle slices
- Mustard optional I used a Dijon but a spicy brown would be great or just yellow too.
- *Sriracha Optional
Cuban Roast Pork
- 4 pound Pork shoulder roast
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 cup sour orange juice I used 2/3 cup 100% orange juice (not from concentrate, 1 lime juiced and 1 lemon juiced)
- 1 cup minced onion
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 cup olive oil Spanish if you have it. I used Italian
Cuban Roast Pork
- Mash the garlic, salt and peppercorns into a paste, using a mortar and pestle or a food processor. Stir in sour orange juice, onion and oregano. Let mixture sit for 30 minutes.
- Heat olive oil in a 2 quart saucepan until hot but not frying hot. You'll see some movement in the oil. Remove the oil from the heat and quickly AND CAREFULLY whisk the garlic-orange juice mixture until well blended. Let cool before using as a marinade.
- Pierce the pork roast several times all over with a fork or sharp knife. Place it in a roasting pan and pour garlic mixture (save a little for basting while roasting) over pork. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for two or three hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Remove lid from the pork and roast for 20 minutes. Reduce temperature to 225°F and roast until the meat is soft and you can pull it apart easily with a fork, about 2 hours and 20 minutes. Baste occasionally while roasting. I roasted mine to an internal temperature of 175°F. Remove from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
- Butter the inside of the top and bottom of the bread and *mustard if using. Put the pickles on the bread, followed by the roasted pork, ham, and cheese. Be generous!
- Butter a hot griddle or pan. Place the sandwich on the pan and using a heavy skillet, bacon press or foil wrapped brick, or panini press, flatten the sandwich for approximately 3 minutes and then flip to the other side.
- You don’t want you pan so hot that your bread burns but it needs to be hot enough to melt your cheese.
- Slice the sandwich diagonally and serve immediately.
My mother-in-law gave me a panini press/grill. I’d been wanting one and she never used hers so I was the beneficiary!
Now that I had a panini press, I could make them without a foil-covered brick or a cast iron skillet…or so I thought. I squished my bread until the whole thing slid apart as you can see. The ham slid to the back and the cheese and pork to the front.
You asked me to post some less than perfect results. My perfectionist self is doing it under duress. Even though the first attempt tasted amazing, my Panini skills needed some work as you can see! Like anything, practice makes perfect.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for spending some time with me today!