The Cuban sandwich is basically a ham and cheese sandwich on crack. The key difference at Pilar Cuban Eatery is our house mojo-marinated roast pork full of citrus, garlic and spices. Just as important is the bread, which ideally is Cuban bread – a white, very airy and pillowy bread with a very thin outer crust that is ideal for pressing. You won’t likely be able to find Cuban bread outside of Miami so the closest thing is an Italian roll or Puerto Rican breads. Make sure to use the best quality smoked ham you can get, preferably not deli meats. A good option is spiral ham available at most supermarkets. Avoid fancy charcuterie like Serrano ham or prosciutto. You also need a good Swiss cheese. Regular yellow mustard is best rather than Dijon or a grainy mustard as you need the acidity from the yellow mustard.” – Ricardo Barreras
- Cuban bread*
- Yellow mustard
- 3 oz mojo marinated roast pork including some of the fat (recipe below), sliced
- 3 oz smoked ham, sliced
- 2 oz Swiss cheese, sliced
- pickle slices (enough to cover the entire sandwich bread)
- Spread the yellow mustard liberally on both sides of the bread.
- Layer all the sliced meats and cheese inside.
- Top with a layer of pickles.
- Butter both outer sides of the bread.
- Press for 8 to 10 minutes in a sandwich/panini press.
- Cut diagonally and enjoy!
- 10 – 12 medium garlic cloves
- 3 – 4 tablespoons kosher salt
- ½ tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 and ¾ cup sour orange juice (about 10 – 15 oranges) OR substitute the following for sour orange juice: ½ cup orange juice, ½ cup grapefruit juice, ½ cup lime juice
- Place all the mojo ingredients in a blender and blend well.
- 3 lbs. pork butt (also called Boston butt)
- 8-10 minutes in a sandwich/panini press (*if roasting your own pork, you will need to marinate it overnight and roast for about 3 hours)
- 1 sandwich
BED-STUY, BROOKLYN, CUBAN SANDWICH, MIAMI, PILAR CUBAN EATERY, SANDWICH
- Place the pork in a large enough zip-lock bag along with the mojo marinade.
- Take out as much air as possible, place in a bowl, and refrigerate overnight.
- Place the pork in a roasting pan along with the mojo. Cover with foil and cook at 350F for 2 hours.
- Remove the foil, increase the temperature to 450F and cook for 20 – 30 minutes to brown the meat.
- When sufficiently browned, turn over and cook for another 20 – 30 minutes to brown the other side. The pork is done when the meat easily breaks off.
*You can substitute an Italian roll, pan sobao, pan de agua (water bread) or pan de Manteca (lard bread) often found in Dominican or Puerto Rican markets for an Italian roll
WRITTEN BY RICARDO BARRERAS
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL TULIPAN