In the past, I’ve had a few really good Cuban Sandwiches at restaurants, and then I’ve had some that I think were made by a 9 year old standing on a milk crate in the kitchen.
My favorite Cuban Sandwiches arrive at my table warmed all the way through and are topped with plenty of mustard and pickles. Not getting the center, which houses the meats and cheese, warmed through is a fail for me, and it’s easy to do if you slap everything together and stick it in a pan to toast. The exterior of a sandwich will brown way before the meat inside warms through and the cheese melts. For the best dining experience possible, make sure that you take the time to warm the pork roast and ham in the pan before building your sandwich.
To keep everything flowing smoothly in my sandwich assembly line, I prep the bread with my mustard, cheese, and pickles before starting the meat in my skillet. This ensures that I can load the sandwich full of warm meat, which helps to melt the cheese. After assembling the sandwich, I toast it in a warm skillet with melted butter.
I can’t get authentic Cuban bread in my local market, so if you have the same shopping dilemma, you can use French bread, Sub bread, or even wheat bread slices like I did. If using thicker bread, I recommend pressing it in a panini press or a George Foreman grill, or place a heavier pan on your sandwich while it cooks in your skillet.
This sandwich is a great way to make one meal out of a large pork roast. I like to cook a 4-5 pound picnic style pork roast in my slow cooker until it is falling apart tender. Once the pork is shredded, I portion it out for meals like these Cuban Sandwiches, Carnitas Burrito Bowls and Pork Verde Burritos, along with other recipes.
I use yellow mustard on my sandwich and dill pickle slices, but if you want a little more kick, use a spicy brown mustard and pickled jalapenos slices. It won’t be traditional, but who’s going to call the sandwich police? Not me. Serve this sandwich with a pickle spear, a side of chips or potato salad, or a bowl of Fiesta Chicken Soup. This is one of my favorite sandwiches anytime of the year, and I hope it will soon be yours as well.
Spread both sides of the bread with yellow mustard (or spicy mustard). Top with pickles (or pickled jalapenos) and a couple of slices of cheese.
In a nonstick skillet, over medium heat, warm the meats, but don’t burn or brown them (add a tsp. of water to steam the meat if necessary). Top the bread with the warmed meat.
Melt butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the sandwich to the skillet open first, in order to butter the outside of both slices of bread. Once the butter has coated the bread, close the sandwich and press it with a heavier pot while it cooks, or add the sandwich to a panini maker or George Foreman grill. If using that method butter both sides of the bread before placing on the sandwich maker.
The sandwich is finished when you have toasted both sides and the cheese is melted.