Remember that roast pork from a couple of days ago? I sure do! I always get really excited when I have leftover roast pork on hand, because it inevitably leads to one thing: cuban sandwiches.
In addition to roast pork, a cubano contains dijon mustard, ham, pickles and swiss cheese. RealÂ cubanosÂ are made on soft white Cuban bread, but I used my usual wild-yeast boule. After all, I’m not a real cubano either.
When everything is stacked together, the sandwich is ready for a hot plancha, griddle, or cast-iron pan. And then comes the crucial step in cubanos: pressing. Pressing the sandwich compresses all the ingredients together and gives it a nice, thick texture and also seems to make the grilled surfaces of the bread extra-crispy. Home cookery stores sell all kinds of ridiculous weighted accessories with handles for this purpose, but you could just as easily use a culinary brick or anything else that’s heavy. I use a second cast-iron pan.
This sandwich is so great because it combines a lot of contrasting flavors into a neatly compressed package: hot dijon mustard, sweet, salty pig meats, tangy swiss cheese and sour pickles, all forced together into a warm, crispy amalgam. It’s rare that I will make a pork roast expressly for the purpose of making cubanos, but it’s even rarer that I’ll roast pork and not make sure there’s plenty leftover to fulfill my cuban sandwich needs.