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Friday, May 17, 2013

Cuban Sandwiches

I am a major supporter of sandwiches.  Like Secretary of their fan club type of supporter.  So when I found out last week was National Sandwich Week, a celebration was non-negotiable.  But what type of sandwich should I make?  Sure there was plenty of inspiration on the Pinterest board I devoted entirely to sandwiches, but the right sandwich was simple and commonplace enough that it had not even been pinned: The Cuban.

Though it is a sandwich I've had many a time, it's not one I've ever made myself.  Most of this sandwich requires nothing more than a trip to the deli counter: ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard.  But then there is the one ingredient that makes it distinctly Cuban: roast pork.  This is when it gets tricky.  You can't just buy roast pork.  You have to make it yourself which takes this sandwich out of the "on-the-fly" category.  You have to actually do some pre-planning.

So pre-plan I did.  Roast pork is actually easy to make if you set aside a couple hours.  First, whip up a quick marinade of half a cup of olive oil, diced onion (1/4 of the onion should work), 4 cloves of garlic, the juice of 1-2 limes, and oregano (fresh or dried - I used dried).  That should do you for about 4 pounds of bone-in pork shoulder.  Let it marinate for 2-3 hours then stick it in the oven at 325 for about an hour and a half to two hours.  I'm still figuring out the timing on this so just cut into it til it looks right.

Once the pork is cooked and sliced, start assembling your sandwiches.  If I ever use mustard (rare) it's the dijon or stone ground kind, but plain old yellow works best here so slap some on the top half of a portugese roll.  Then start building: pork, ham, dill pickles, and Swiss cheese.  At that point, I know your sandwich will look and smell delicious but if you try to eat it, I will slap your hand away.  Seriously, don't even try to take a bite - it's so much better once it's pressed, so heat up the grill pan and get something heavy (like a skillet topped with a can of beans) to press down the sandwiches.  The result: Miami without the plane ticket.

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