Cuban sandwiches are my favorite and I really miss them, like the 49ers miss winning. I dream about those layers of flavor and whenever its on the menu I order one, which is hardly ever, which means I have to make them at home. This makes a ton of meat so would bode well on a Christmas Eve buffet table with assorted toppings (see below) to build-your-own. Even if you opt out of the sandwich this is the only roast pork you’ll ever want to eat. You’ll need a marinade injector for full effect. I bought mine at Target for $3.99, Fred Meyer has one for $5.99.
Cuban Roast Pork (original recipe here, I changed it a bit)
5 lb pork roast, shoulder
1 Tablespoon each of oregano, coconut sugar, ground pepper
½ Tablespoon kosher salt
¼ cup oil (avocado, olive, or coconut)
¼ liquid smoke
Put everything into a bowl and mix well. Add the pork roast and massage it around, making sure it’s totally covered. Marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours, ideally turning at the halfway point.
In the meantime, make the mojo.
5 fat garlic cloves
½ large white onion
zest and juice of 3 limes
zest and juice of 2 oranges
Place all ingredients in your rocket-powered blender and blend until garlic and onion are completely smooth. If you use a food processor you run the risk of the garlic and onion not being completely smooth.
Pull the roast out of the fridge and using a flavor-injector, inject the roast all over. Don’t be stingy.
Roast in the oven on 350 for 3 hours or until the center of the roast registers 165. Use two forks and shred it, or slice if you’d prefer. If you’re up for it, you could grill it for 5 hours, adding coals/wood/propane as necessary. If you choose to grill it outside, omit the liquid smoke.
You could stop here, serving with a starchy veg like fried plantains or roasted sweet potatoes. Maybe a delightful green salad. It’d be great. Or you could made Cuban sammies. In that case, get your toppings ready and make your “buns.”
Cuban Sandwich Toppings
Slices of swiss or Gruyere (if you do dairy)
Slices of dill pickles
Slices of deli ham
Dijon mustard (I mix mine with mayo and roasted garlic)
You could use iceberg or butter lettuce leaves for buns. Another option is to roll everything inside the slice of deli ham; I like this option for potlucks, school lunches, or grab-and-go snacks. Or you could use plantains using this method from Primal Cravings.
Take 2 green plantains and cut each one into 4 equal pieces. Remove the peel and discard. Place the 8 pieces of plantain into boiling water and let cook for 8 minutes. Remove and place standing up on a piece of parchment paper. Using the backside of a plate, gently smash the plantains, one by one, into flat discs.
Warm coconut or avocado oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. When swirly and hot, add a plantain disc and fry until both sides are crispy and brown. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate.
Discard the oil but don’t wash or wipe it out pan.
To assemble your Cuban Sandwiches, slather the Dijon-mayo onto the plantain bun, layer cheese, ham, pickles, and pork and top with bun. Place the sandwich into the sauté pan and put the plate on top if it, smooshing it down just a bit. Warm through just enough to melt the cheese. Serve with icy cold beer, I mean, a nice tall glass of paleo ice water.