The Best Cuban Sandwiches
Easy, cheesy and most delicious Cuban Sandwiches – loaded with roast pork, salami, ham, melting Swiss Cheese, pickles and yellow mustard. It’s so addictive and a perfect way for a crowd to enjoy the pleasure.
Cuban Sandwiches are so easy to make and a perfect way to use up leftover grilled pork, pork roast or pork tenderloin. They are great for weeknight lunch/dinners as well as big parties or tailgate! In my opinion, no sandwich can compete with Cuban Sandwiches. This is one of my favorite sandwich recipes, along with Sloppy Joes, Pulled Pork Sandwich, Philly Cheese Steak, and Double Decker Pizza Sandwich.
What is Cuban Sandwich
Originally from Cuba, a Cuban sandwich is a variation of a ham and cheese sandwich and sometimes called “Cuban Pressed Sandwich”. Sweet ham, salami and pork are smothered with Swiss cheese, pickles and tangy mustard on Cuban bread, then a heavy pan is usually placed on top to compress the sandwich while it’s toasting.
Traditionally, authentic Cuban Sandwiches are made with Cuban bread. It is similar to French bread and Italian bread, but made in long, baguette-like loaves with a very thin crust.
If you cannot find Cuban bread, Ciabatta bread or Italian bread is a good substitute, which makes very good Cuban Sandwiches.
How to Make Cuban Sandwiches
Cuban Sandwiches are really easy to make when you get all the ingredients. All it takes is to assemble the sandwich and cook it in a skillet, grill or oven. It will be ready in about 15 minutes.
Step 1: Assemble Cuban Sandwiches
I used leftover roast pork, and the preparation is very simple (If you need to cook roast pork from scratch, scroll down to see the details on how to cook roast pork). First, rub the outer side of the bread and halve it lengthwise. Lay it on a work surface with the open side up. Then spread mustard on half of the bread, and butter on the other half of the bread loaf. Then add roast pork and 2 or 3 layers of sweet ham, followed by Swiss cheese and pickles, finally add salami. Close sandwich and wrap it in foil, then press gently. Repeat with the remaining loaves. The cheese will glue all ingredients together when it melts.
Step 2: Cook Cuban Sandwiches
Heat up a cast iron skillet or grill pan and heat it over medium heat, then coat with olive oil. (If you use a panini press, you can butter top and bottom of the equipment). Place the assembled sandwiches on the pan and place a heavy pot or pan on top, pressing down firmly and cook for about 10 minutes (5 minutes for each side). Cook until the cheese has melted, bread is crispy, and sandwiches are about 1/3 – 1/2 of its original size.
Note: If you use grill or oven, you can set the temperature at 450°F.
How to Serve Cuban Sandwiches
Remove foil from the sandwiches. Place on a platter and serve while hot. Beans and chips are nice side dishes that go well with Cuban Sandwiches.
How to Make Roast Pork
If you don’t have leftover roast pork and need to make from scratch. Here is how to make it. Preheat the oven to 450°F and set aside a sheet pan. First, mix the seasoning such as dry oregano, salt, pepper and olive oil in a small bowl. Then add the pork to a medium-large bowl with the mixed seasoning. Toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate for about 30 minutes. Transfer the marinated pork to a sheet pan. Roast the pork for about 20 to 25 minutes until it’s cooked through (internal temperature reaches 140°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center). Remove it from the oven and let rest for about 5 -8 minutes. Then cut into ¼-inch slices.
Secrets and Tips for Making the Best Cuban Sandwiches
- Choose the right bread for Cuban Sandwiches: If you cannot find Cuban bread, you can use Ciabatta bread or Italian bread as a substitute
- Rub the outer side of the bread before toasting to get the extra moist and flavor. Alternatively, you can brush the bread with pickle juice so that the bread won’t dry out.
- Wrap the sandwich in foil before cooking, and the melted cheese won’t spread onto the equipment.
- Don’t overcook the sandwich. You want the outside of the sandwich to be crisp and golden and the cheese melted.
- Make ahead tip: You can assemble the bread a few hours ahead. Press and cook before serving.
The Best Cuban Sandwiches
- 1 loaf Cuban Bread, or French or Italian bread
- 1 lb roast pork, cooked and sliced
- 1 lb sweet ham sliced
- 1 lb sliced Swiss cheese
- 8 sliced dill pickles
- 1/2 lb sliced salami
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup yellow mustard
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp butter
- Rub the outer side of the bread and halve it lengthwise. Lay it on a work surface with the open side up.
- Spread mustard on half of the bread, and butter on the other half of the bread loaf. Then add roast pork and 2 or 3 layers of sweet ham, followed by Swiss cheese and pickles, finally add salami.
- Season with salt and pepper. Close sandwich and wrap it in foil, then press gently. Repeat with the remaining loaves.
- Heat up a cast iron skillet and heat it over medium heat, then coat with olive oil. Place the assembled sandwiches on the pan and place a heavy pot or pan on top, pressing down firmly and cook for about 10 minutes (5 minutes for each side). Cook until the cheese has melted, bread is crispy, and sandwiches are about 1/3 – 1/2 of its original size.
- Remove foil from the sandwiches. Place on a platter, slice sandwiches and serve while hot. Serve and enjoy!
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