Cuban Sandwiches. This delicious — and simple to make — Cuban sandwich is sure to become a family favorite.
No one can seem to agree on where and when the Cuban sandwich originated, but most can agree that it’s delicious. This humble sandwich is workingman’s fare for the cigar makers and sugar cane field workers in Cuba, and among the Cuban communities in Florida. Walk down Calle Ocho in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, and you’d be hard-pressed to not find a café selling “sandwich mixto” along with little cups of intense Cuban coffees.
An authentic Cuban sandwich is made with Cuban bread, ham, roast pork, cheese, and pickles. In Ybor City, Florida, salami is added. If you can’t find Cuban bread, substitute a “crispy on the outside and soft on the inside” white sandwich roll. Do not use a French baguette.
Cuban Sandwiches (Cubanos)
- 1 loaf Cuban bread (three feet long ), sliced lengthwise or 6 six-inch soft baguettes
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened (for brushing)
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard, or to taste (for brushing)
- 1 1/2 pounds boiled ham, sliced
- 1 1/2 pounds thinly sliced Cuban Mojo-Marinated Pork or roasted pork
- 1 pound thinly sliced, sliced
- 1 cup dill pickle chips, or to taste
Heat a skillet over medium, and add the sliced boiled ham. Cook for about 1 minute on each side, or until brown spots start to appear. Remove to a plate.
Assemble the sandwich
Spread 2 tablespoons of the butter on one half of the bread loaf and a thin layer of mustard on the other. Place 1 to 2 layers of ham, pork, cheese, and, finally, pickles on the buttered bread and top with the mustard-spread bread.
Wrap the sandwich in foil
Smear the remaining butter all over the outside of the sandwich and wrap it completely in aluminum foil.
Press and grill the sandwich
Heat your grill to high (550°F) and close the lid. Wait at least 15 minutes before lowering the heat to medium-high (450°F) and continuing.
Before grilling the sandwich, press down on it with your hands to flatten it. Place the wrapped, flattened sandwich on the grill and top with a brick, grill press, or any other heavy, heat-resistant object. Close the lid and grill for 5 to 6 minutes per side.
Remove the wrapped sandwich from the grill and take off the foil. Return the sandwich to the grill and grill for about 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until both pieces of bread are crispy and golden brown.
Slice and serve
Remove the sandwich from the grill and cut at an angle into small sandwich wedges (triangles). Place on a large platter and serve while still hot.