feasting with friends

Cubano Sandwich

What inspires your kitchen adventures? Perhaps it’s cravings. Maybe it happens to be what the refrigerator or pantry offers. It can even be the pricing, too good to be true, at the market. For me, all of the above hold true. One time or another. But “seeing” food is also a big part of what’s cooking in my kitchen.

cubano sandwich |feastingwithfriendsblog.com

Today’s post is compliments of seeing the movie “Chef”. Have you made the trip to a theater to take it in this summer? Glenn and I ventured to see the movie with friends opening weekend. I mean, it’s about food! We were unstoppable. It stars Jon Favreau, who I adore. Anybody remember his old show on IFC, Dinner for Five? Jon and four guests [Hollywood types] would sit around a table…eat, drink {and drink and drink} and talk about their upcoming projects. Loved that show…it was “season pass” worthy on the DVR, for sure! Gosh, I miss it. Wish they’d bring it back.

But, back to “Chef”. Short synopsis, no spoilers: chef loses restaurant job, acquires food truck, travels with son and sous chef friend creating menu and finding himself in the process. Oscar statuettes in the movie’s future? Probably not. Entertaining? Absolutely! And did I mention the food? Yummy!

cubano sandwich| feastingwithfriendsblog.com

As you’ve probably guessed by now…the Cubano Sandwich is one of the stars of this movie. I left the theater and wanted a Cubano…immediately. It didn’t happen…we ended up a Mexican restaurant instead, hah. Oh well. I created the sandwiches myself with a little help from Google!

cubano sandwich |feastingwithfriendsblog.com

I settled on slightly adapted recipes [for both the roasted pork and sandwich] from the site 3 Guys From Miami. The instructions and recipes were top notch! I roasted a pork shoulder low and slow in the oven for about 10 hours. Purchased the perfect ham [sliced up right], bread and baby swiss cheese, and used my homemade dill pickle slices. A panini press cooked them to perfection. Yummy! So good in fact, I repeated the whole process within 2 weeks. Once just wasn’t enough. And do you know what? It’s about time to make them again…don’t think I won’t!

cubano sandwich |feastingwithfriendsblog.com

cubano sandwich feastingwithfriendsblog.com

Cubano Sandwich

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


4 sub/hoagie rolls, 6-8 inches long
3 Tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 pound ham, sliced thin
1 pound Cuban pork, recipe below
½ pound baby Swiss cheese
dill pickle slices


•Preheat a panini press, griddle or large skillet to medium-high heat.

• Cut rolls in half, lengthwise, and generously spread butter on cut surfaces.

•Make each sandwich by layering the ingredients: pickles, roasted pork, ham, and cheese. No skimping on ingredients allowed.

•Spray the pre-heated panini press [griddle or skillet] with cooking spray and place the Cubano sandwich on the pan. Close the panini press [if using griddle or skillet use a heavy skillet on top of the sandwich]. You really want to squish the Cubano sandwich down, compressing the bread to about 1/3 its original size.

•Cook until bread is lightly toasted and cheese is melted, about 4-5 minutes. [Note: if not using a panini press, sandwich will need to be flipped for even cooking.]

•Slice the sandwich in half diagonally and serve.


Cuban Style Pulled Pork

  • Servings: 12-16
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Note: The number of servings is dependent on the size of the pork shoulder, and whether or not it is bone-in. Time will vary, also based on size. Always use a thermometer to determine if it is done.


1  4-6-pound pork shoulder roast [Note: You only need about 1 pound of the cooked meat for the sandwich recipe above.]
1 head garlic, about 10 to 15 cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1 cup minced onion
2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 cup olive oil


•Mash garlic, salt, and peppercorns into a paste, using a mortar and pestle. Stir in orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice, onion and oregano; stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

•Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat [to about 220ºF]. Remove the oil from heat and quickly whisk in the garlic-orange juice mixture until well blended. Let cool before using as a marinade.

•Pierce pork shoulder at least a dozen times with a sharp knife. Place pork in a large bowl or zip top bag. Reserve 1/4 cup of marinade for basting, then pour the remaining amount over pork. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for two to three hours.

•Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place pork in a suitable size roasting pan, pour reserved marinade over pork and roast uncovered at 375°F for 20 minutes. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 225°F and cook until the meat is soft and you can pull it apart easily with a fork. Baste occasionally while roasting.

•Remove pork from pan and allow to stand 10 minutes before slicing/pulling meat. Meanwhile, bring the pan juices to a boil and simmer until the juice is reduced by half. Add a teaspoon or two of the reduced pan juice to the pork when you assemble the sandwich, if desired.


Recipe source, here.


  1. Oh! I really want to see Chef, and have added it to my netflix queue for the future (probably won’t make it to the theater anytime soon). Love the look of this Cubano sandwich! YUM.

  2. That movie is on my bucket list of movies to see! Right up my alley!! Nancy, this sandwich looks so delicious… Do you know that I’ve never tried one? That’s on my bucket list of sandwiches to try…and now I really want to try it after looking at these beautiful photos! Yum… just yum. ❤

    • You really must try one Prudy! It’s really just an elevated grilled ham and cheese…but wow…the pulled pork really kicks it up a notch! So many bucket lists…so little time. 🙂 I’m sure the movie will be on cable soon and you can check two items off at once! Thanks for visiting!

  3. I missed that movie, darn… Maybe it’s on DVD now? But I’m glad I didn’t miss your sandwich. Sounds fabulous! I think it’s something everybody in my family will enjoy, especially my son. He will be all over this! Thanks fir the recipe, Nancy! XOXO

    • If it’s not on DVD already, I’m sure it will be soon. I’ve always been a fan of Cubano’s and these recipes nailed the flavors I had grown to love. Hope you get a chance to try the recipes! And btw…it’s son approved in my house. 😉

  4. Pingback: Lobster Stir Fry Over Rice Pilaf | cookingwithauntjuju.com

    • The flavors of the pork are well worth the long cook time, Jess. I hope you get a chance to to try it out…especially on the sandwich. 🙂 Thanks for commenting and stopping by!

    • I bet the movie shows up soon On Demand…it opened in theaters at least two months ago now. Do yourself a favor and roast the pork and acquire the needed sandwich ingredients for the day you watch…it’ll make for a perfect day!

  5. Your Cubano looks great! Chef was a fun movie, though much of the story was too far-fetched. But I too craved a good Cubano right after watching… Luckily NY has enough places that serve a good one, so I didn’t have to wait too long. 🙂

    • We do have options for good Cubanos in our area…unfortunately, the restaurant was chosen before we saw the movie and my cravings did not garner a change in venue. 😉

  6. Ahhh I’ve been bugging my husband to go see Chef with me I’m so disappointed we haven’t seen it yet! I’ve never made a cubano but this sure looks great! Also homemade pickles!? Can’t ask for a better addition to a sandwich.

  7. Confession: I’ve never had a Cuban sandwich before. Not that I don’t think I wouldn’t like it, but I’ve just never got one because I would ask for it without the cheese and I’m sure I’d get looked at like i was nuts or something lol

    But this post really makes me want one, Nancy, thanks for sharing 🙂

    • You’ve got tot try one…even if it is without cheese. 🙂 There’s just something about the pork slow cooked in citrus that makes it stand out and give it unique flavors!

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