We’ve been meaning to do this for a while, make Cubanos, the way they do in Chef (2014). Every time we watch the movie, pretty much. And if you use your googling powers, there are recipes out there too, for the meat and the sandwiches.
We had friends visiting this weekend that went by and that gave us reason enough to go out hunting for a pork shop in the city, as opposed to ordering on MeatRoot, like we had the last time around. Poonam Pork Shop to our rescue. The weekend basically involved lots of pork curry, lots of smoked ham, lots of bacon and Cuban Sandwiches. That should give you a fair idea of how much we liked what we saw at the pork shop.
The pork for the Cubanos was marinated for an entire day and was roasted in the oven for a sum total of about 3 hours. Our man even tried being Martin-esque about it.
We used most of this recipe and were quite pleased with the results. I would’ve liked for the sandwiches to have a little more zing and spice, but they were very tasty nevertheless.
If you don’t have a sandwich press, many online resources suggest using a large, cast-iron skillet or griddle. Top the sandwiches with a large baking sheet weighed down with something heavy and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes per side.
Here are some videos and images from our cook that afternoon. It’s pretty evident that we were quite pumped every 30 minutes, when we checked on the pork to baste it.
There was a fourth round of the pork sitting in the oven for 30 minutes, following which we covered the pork with some foil and let it rest on the kitchen counter for about 30 minutes. Letting the meat rest did wonders to the texture of the finished pork – juicy and moist.
Later that evening, we cooked the marinade liquid down to a jus and let the thinly sliced pork sit in it while we prepped the Cuban sandwiches. I wish I’d used a stringier cheese (for pictures), though the emmenthal worked beautifully taste-wise. I think we’ve come to enjoy grilling meats in the oven quite a bunch. We did a coffee rubbed pork several months ago (when we were still in Bangalore). And now this. I’m enjoying being back to cooking fun things, like we used to before we got married. I guess marriage is about winning some, losing some, making compromises, fighting like idiots and figuring things out along the way.
Here’s to more cooking, happier times and good things ahead!