Cuban Pork Sandwiches

Cuban Sandwiches: For Tourists Only…

Did you know that the “Cuban” sandwich we know here in the USA, isn’t really a “thing” in Cuba? I learned this recently watching an video on YouTube from the channel Kara and Nate. According to the city guide they were with, Cuban Pork sandwiches were originated by Cuban Americans. The only places you might find these sandwiches are in the more “touristy” areas, only because people have asked for them!

The things you learn on YouTube. If you watch Kara and Nate, and maybe you’ll become as obsessed with their travels as I have!!!

We made what we called Cuban Pork Sandwiches before with just some leftover Easter ham and a sense of what we needed to assemble the sandwiches. While that was satisfying, we wanted to switch things around this time. Matt looked for a few days to find a recipe he liked.

As the pork cooked in the slow cooker along with all of the spices, it filled the house with so many beautiful smells. I kept finding reasons to walk by just to get a whiff up close.

To make the pork, you’ll want to follow this post from the blog Dinner then Dessert. Posting their recipe below:

Cuban Pork Slow Cooker Recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 pound pork shoulder
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic , minced
  • 2 leaves bay
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon water (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot add the canola oil on medium high heat.
  2. Season the pork with the kosher salt and black pepper and brown the pork on all sides.
  3. To the slow cooker add the orange juice, lime juice, cumin, oregano, red pepper flakes, garlic and bay leaves and mix it together.
  4. Add the pork to the slow cooker and roll it in the mixture until it is coated well.
  5. Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 6.
  6. When the pork is done you can serve as is with the juice on top.
  7. If you want a thicker sauce, 30 minutes before it is done skim the fat off the top, add a cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of water to the slow cooker and cook on high for 30 minutes.

The difference we made was sorting the liquid from the pork before shredding the pork. We used the liquid to spoon over the shredded pork on each sandwich.

Shredded Pork
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Putting the sandwich together:

Matt looked around different websites to see how we should properly organize the sandwich, if there was a preferred order at all. The consensus seemed to be to lay the two pieces of ciabatta bread out on the plate. Mustard, then pickles, then Swiss cheese for the top piece of bread, and two slices of lunch meat ham, another slice of Swiss cheese, the shredded pork, and then assemble and grill.

We altered the order by keeping the sandwich split in half, and then dividing the shredded pork between the two halves. Finally, we used our George Foreman grill and closed it down on the sandwich for a few minutes to heat everything and melt the cheese really well.

Yet again, an amazing sandwich! Check out this Cuban Inspired Rice dish I put together for the meal.

Cuban Pork Sandwich with Rice Black Beans and Pickle

Have you ever had a Cuban Pork sandwich? Are you interested in trying one now? What are some actual Cuban dishes you think we should try? Let us know in the comments below!!!

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