This Cubano Sandwich is a party for your mouth with its combination of flavors. If you like a grilled sandwich, you will love this. So delicious!
The first time I ever made a Cubano Sandwich was as an appetizer for my Hot Havana in Miami Gr8 Dinner. We cut them into small portions to serve as an appetizer and boy were they a hit! The crunchy grilled bread, the tangy mustard and pickles, the creamy cheese and the savory meats combine into an almost perfect sandwich.
These sandwiches are called "Cuban" because they originated with the Cuban cigar factory workers in Key West, Florida. The sandwich then became popular in the 1940s in Miami. There are a few variations, but this is the classic original.
It would never have occurred to me to combine all these flavors and grill this sandwich, but it works beautifully. Everyone I've made these for loves them. Be sure to use really good dill pickles as that makes a huge difference in the flavor. Also, don't skimp on the mustard, the tanginess is important.
Sure, you can use gourmet mustard and get fancy with the bread or the pork if you must. But there's something to be said for the original flavor profile. And in this case, I really don't think it can be improved!
- 1 loaf Cuban bread or French bread
- 1/2 pound Gruyère cheese or Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
- 12 slices ham, thin sandwich slices
- 12 slices roast pork *see note, thin sandwich slices
- Yellow mustard for spreading
- Sliced dill pickles, the flavor of the pickle makes a huge difference, be sure to buy good pickles, I used Claussen.
- 4 Tablespoons butter, melted
- Heat your griddle, sandwich press, or a heavy frying pan (cast iron is best), on medium high heat.
- Cut the loaf of bread in half, cross-wise, then cut each half in half. Then cut each piece lengthwise. You should have 8 pieces of bread to make 4 large sandwiches.
- Spread Mustard on the cut side of each of the pieces of bread.
- On the four bottom pieces of bread make a layer of cheese, then a layer of pickles, then pork slices, then ham. Top with another layer of cheese.
- Put the remaining two pieces of Bread on top
- Brush the outside of the sandwiches with the melted butter, both top and bottom
- Cook on your griddle, sandwich press, or in the frying pan. Put another heavy pot on top to weigh the sandwiches down. (I put a can of tomatoes in the top pot for the weight.) Cook until bread is toasted and cheese is melted. Flip halfway through. If you are using an electric sandwich griddle, you won't have to flip these.
- Serve hot and melty!