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Cuban Sandwich

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Ohhhh baby. You know it's going to be a good sandwich when it requires a whopping 5 hours of tender, loving care. Our Cuban sandwich, also known as the Cubano, is of the South Floridian variety, without salami. But we don't need it in this case: along with layers of ham, Swiss, pickles, and mustard, there's also the super juicy slow-roasted pork loin that we marinate for 2 hours in a citrus blend (similar to the one we used in this mojo shrimp!). The acidity and spices in the marinade help to balance out the richness of the meat, giving you that perfect marriage of light and heavy flavors.

What kind of bread is best for a Cuban sandwich?

Cuban-style bread, of course, but if you can't find that, an unseeded sub roll is a great second choice. The bread shouldn't be too firm but should hold up well to the grilling in the final step. 

Is a Cuban sandwich better hot or cold?

Cubans can be served either hot or cold but let's be real here -- swiss cheese makes for an undeniably gooey cheese pull. Between melty cheese, toasty bread, and juicy roast pork, we have to dub the hot Cuban sandwich the clear winner. 

What to serve with a Cuban sandwich?

This is the time to break out the baked yuca fries or fried pickles.  If you need something portable, go for kettle-cooked plantain chips or up the pickle factor with homemade dill pickle potato chips.

If you're short on time today, we understand. Save this sandwich for another day, then check out these other fantastic pork recipes you can make tonight.

Have you made this yet? Let us know how it went in the comments below!

Editor's Note: The introduction to this recipe was updated on July 26, 2022, to include more information about the dish.

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Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 20 mins
Total Time: 5 hours 30 mins
For the roast pork
2 tbsp.

kosher salt

1 tsp.

freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp.

ground cumin

1 tsp.

smoked paprika

Juice and zest of 1/2 orange

Juice of 1/2 lime

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/4 c.

extra-virgin olive oil


(3-lb.) boneless pork loin

For the sandwiches

Cuban-style bread roll or 6 hero rolls

4 tbsp.

Dijon mustard


thin slices boiled ham


thin slices roast pork

1 c.

bread and butter pickles


thin slices Swiss

5 tbsp.


Potato chips, for serving

  1. Make the roast pork: Mix all ingredients except for pork loin in a large resealable plastic bag until fully combined. Add pork and seal bag. Massage bag to coat pork with marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Massage bag from time to time to distribute marinade.
  2. Remove bag from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour more.
  3. Preheat oven to 400º. Place pork in a dutch oven with a lid and discard excess marinade. Cook covered for 30 minutes, then uncover and carefully flip loin. Continue to cook, uncovered, until internal temperature reaches 145º, 20 to 30 minutes more. Transfer pork to a cutting board, loosely cover with foil, and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
  4. Make the sandwiches: Cut 6 large pieces of foil. Split bread in half lengthwise and butter the outside of both slices, then place on foil. 
  5. Assemble sandwiches on foil. Spread a thin layer of mustard on the inside of each slice of bread. Add layers of ham, roast pork slices, pickles, and Swiss, then add top of bread.
  6. Wrap sandwich (or sandwiches) tightly in foil and place in a grill pan over medium-high heat or panini press. Cook 2 to 3 minutes per side. If using a grill pan, place a weight (such as a cast iron skillet) on top of sandwich to press it.
  7. Remove sandwich from grill, and remove foil. Cut sandwich diagonally in half. 
  8. Serve with additional pickles and potato chips.

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