If you're a pork lover, no sandwich can compete with the almighty Cubano. Roast pork layered with ham (yes, that's two kinds of pig), Swiss cheese, pickles and yellow mustard makes for an addictive combo on its own, but when you heat it up, it becomes a pressed sandwich like no other. The sweet ham and crusty bread become addictive when smothered with tangy mustard and loaded with pickles. If you're planning to have just one half, you may want to reconsider, because once you start, you won't be able to stop. So crack out that panini maker you got for Christmas and put it to good use.
Just like dressing in winter, the key to this sandwich is layering—and the order is specific. Once you've spread mustard on the bread, the ham goes on next, followed by the pickles to ensure they stay in the middle and don't fall out. Then comes the pork, topped with the cheese, which will start the melting process as it rests on top of the freshly roasted meat. It's quite the thoughtful sandwich, so give it the attention it deserves. We promise you'll thank us later.
To learn more read "Hot off the Press."
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 sandwiches
Prep Time: 15 minutes, plus marinating and resting time
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes, plus marinating and resting time
For the Roast Pork:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 pound pork tenderloin
For the Cuban Sandwich:
Four 8-to-10-inch Cuban sandwich loaves, halved lengthwise
1 stick unsalted butter, softened and divided
1 cup yellow mustard
1 pound sliced honey-glazed ham
4 large dill pickles, thinly sliced crosswise
8 ounces (16 each) Swiss cheese slices
Kosher salt, to taste
1. Make the roast pork: Preheat the oven to 450° and line a sheet pan with foil. In a mini food processor, combine all of the pork ingredients, except for the tenderloin, and purée until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and add the tenderloin, tossing to coat. Cover in plastic and let marinate on the counter for 30 minutes.
2. Transfer the tenderloin to the prepared sheet pan and pour the marinade over top. Roast until the pork has reached an internal temperature of 140° on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes, then carve into ¼-inch slices on a bias.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the sandwiches: Rub the outer side of the top and bottom of each loaf with 1 tablespoon of the softened butter and arrange, butter-side down, on a cutting board. Spread 2 tablespoons of yellow mustard on the inside of each piece of bread. On the bottom half of each loaf, layer a quarter of the ham, followed by a quarter each of the pickle slices, roast pork and cheese. Season with a pinch of salt and close with the top half of the bread. Repeat with the remaining loaves and fixings.
4. Heat up a panini maker according to the directions. Then, working in batches, press the sandwiches until golden brown and the cheese has melted, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a board and cut each one in half on a bias, then serve.
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