Cuban Sandwich

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Cuban Sandwich

I feel like I might get in trouble for calling this a Cuban. Because, truth be told I have never really had an authentic Cuban sandwich. But when I was in the middle of a juice cleanse recently (Ak! I still haven’t told you about that- but I will!!!) A friend mentioned Cuban sandwiches. Being in the throws of starvation and sugar withdrawal I started obsessing over Cuban Sandwiches (among other things.)

Cuban Sandwich

In the name of research, my sister and I committed to driving to a place called Paseo in Seattle. It is famous for it’s Cuban sandwiches and I have never known it not to have a line around the block. They sell out every single day. They are about 2 miles from the neighborhood I have lived in for 10 years, and I, the sandwich lover, have never been there. I don’t like lines.

Cuban Sandwich

So my sister and I committed to being there right on time and that we would battle the crowds to finally try the delectable sandwiches. When we pulled up there was no one there. As we congratulated ourselves on beating the crowds and tried to find parking spot we finally saw the sign: Closed for the month of January. NOOOOO!!!

Cuban Sandwich

So I did a little research and made my own. But because I am annoying, I changed around the super classic recipe and made it my own. But mostly that happened because I was busy baking cookies and couldn’t sacrifice oven space for that many hours, so I decided to top the sandwich with braised pulled pork over roasted pork.

However I used the traditional flavors of oregano and vinegar with the pork and it did turn out tender and delicious.

Cuban Sandwich

Ok. So then you have to make sure that it seasoned well (As in salty enough.) and you pile it onto a nice crusty soft French roll with salty smoked ham, Swiss cheese, sweet bread and butter pickles and tangy yellow mustard. Weird but good ☺

Cuban Sandwich, serves 1
1 French Roll (I used a soft French Bakery Roll)
1 large slice Swiss Cheese
1 large slice smoked ham
Cuban Style Pulled Pork (see below)
bread and butter pickles
yellow mustard

Cuban Style Pulled Pork, (makes enough for about 8 sandwiches)
3lbs pork shoulder
1 onion, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic
6 Tbs vinegar, peeled
2 Tbs dried oregano
2 tsp salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes

In a large heavy pot, place the onions and garlic cloves.

Cuban Sandwich

Place the pork shoulder on top of the onions.

Cuban Sandwich

Pour 3 Tbs of the vinegar over the top of the pork and then sprinkle the pork with the oregano, salt and red pepper flakes.

Cuban Sandwich

Fill the pot half way with water, put a lid on it and set the pot over medium heat. After 10 minutes, lower the heat to low.

Cuban Sandwich

Simmer the pork for about 1 ½ hours.

Cuban Sandwich

Then take the lid off, and flip the pork to cook it evenly. Add the rest of the vinegar and put the lid back on it.

Cook another 60-90 minutes.

Remove the pot from the heat and pull the pork from the pot.

Cuban Sandwich

Remove the strings from the pork (if there were strings) and shred the pork.

Cuban Sandwich

Be sure to remove the fat and any connective tissues that still remain. (Although I was shocked at how much my shoulder yielded- there was barely any waste!)

Cuban Sandwich

Move the pork to a bowl or storage container. If you are not going to use this right away (or maybe not all of it at once) than ladle a cup or two of the braising liquid over the pork and store the meat in the liquid. But season with a little kosher salt if the meat needs it.

To make the sandwich:

Preheat a sandwich press or grill pan.

Slice the roll horizontally.

Cuban Sandwich

Spread yellow mustard over both sides of the bread.

Cuban Sandwich

Pile the Swiss cheese onto one side of the bread.

Cuban Sandwich

Add the smoked ham.

Cuban Sandwich

Add several large spoons full of the pulled pork.

Cuban Sandwich

Add bread and butter pickles and top the sandwich.

Cuban Sandwich

Cuban Sandwich

Grill or cook in a sandwich press until golden and the cheese is melted.

Cuban Sandwich

Slice in half and enjoy hot with extra pickles!

Cuban Sandwich

Cuban Sandwich

Leave a Reply


  1. there is nothing that sounds better than a legit cuban sandwich, ESPECIALLY since i’m pregnant! it’s everything i’m craving right now :)

    • YAY!! Heather! If I have satisfied a pregnancy craving, than I have done a good job!

  2. Christy says:

    Yum! I may have to walk to our local deli today in the snow and pick up some ingredients. And think I’ll make a ground turkey veggie soup to go with it. Thanks! And I want to hear about the juice cleanse. My 25 year old son wants to do that and I may do it with him.

    • Ok- I will! Stay safe and warm in the snow today!

  3. Barb says:

    Heather, I’ll check out your version when I get home from work. Just need to pull out my Cuban cookbook. I believe it is called Ropa Vieja which sort of translates Old clothes. Typically made with beef.

    • old clothes!!?? like laundry because it is boiled? lol!! let me know!

  4. I tried to make a Paseo’s run last January with my coworker from over here in Woodinville only to find they were closed – how sucktastic is that?!? It only strengthened my resolved to go and get one the first day of February!
    Maybe I’ll see you in line! haha
    These look like a great at-home alternative to the round the block lines. Who’d want to risk them running out when you can make it at home?

    • Thats so funny! Crazy huh? I can’t wait to taste their sandwiches!!

  5. This looks pretty close, so long since I’ve had one! Will have to give this a try.

    • oh good- some confirmation that I am on the right track!!

  6. sippitysup says:

    I am from Florida and that looks pretty authentic to me. Of course the bread is key, so I can’t say for sure until I have had a bite. Better send some. GREG

  7. Ooooh this looks so good!

  8. Soupista says:

    Ah, PASEO has a-mazing Cuban sandwiches!! My first time going there, I used the same ‘get there when they open’ strategy and didn’t have to wait. They also have a Ballard location that is not as busy. Get the ‘Cuban Roast’ – it is simply out of this world! My friends also enjoy the “Midnight Cuban Roast” …

  9. marla says:

    I am starving for lunch right now & these cuban sandwiches have sealed the deal. Time to eat!

  10. Two recipes in one! And they both sound tasty.

  11. Barb says:

    It is actualy called sandwich cubano. The Ropa Vieja. According to “A Taste of Old Cuba” by Maria Josefa LLuria de o’Higgins, it was so named because the meat was first used to make the broth, then shredded and used again in the recipe. By the way, your version is pretty accurate.

    • awesome Barb! Thanks for the info- so glad that I am in the right hemisphere!

  12. I love the flavor profile of Cuban sandwiches!

  13. This looks absolutely Delicious i may have to pick up the things to make it today as it is grocery day! thanks so much for the share!

    • great! no problem at all! I am happy to share such a delicious recipe!

  14. Your cuban looks pretty fantastic! When Paseo re-opens, make sure you head over there for some sampling. One of THE BEST sandwiches I’ve ever had!

  15. I LOVE Cuban sandwiches, and this step-by-step tutorial is fantastic. Can’t wait to make this!

  16. looks just the cuban sandwich I get from my local Cuban Restaurant. YUM!!!

  17. John Bailey says:

    Nice version Heather. One thing. NOT bread and butter pickles. Authentic versions use half-sours.
    Otherwise, good.
    Great photos too.

  18. Tony Hernandez says:

    As a proud Cuban-American, i can tell you that this totally looks authentic. it really grinds my gears when i see people put mayo or veggies on a Sandwich Cubano. BTW one thing though that could make your sandwich a step higher in my opinion is if you put MOJO SAUCE on it. It is basically a mix of sour orange juice pork lard and garlic salt pepper oregano. I know it sounds weird but if you let that sauce sit in your fridge for a week or so the flavor is awesome.

  19. Julie Z says:

    Call Paseo ahead of time (545-7440) and then when you pick it up, you get to go straight to the front of the line. (I work minutes from the place…it’s my lunch tomorrow!) The grilled pork or grilled chicken are the ones to get in my opinion.
    And if you are feeling guilty, the rice bean salad is so satisfying.

  20. cinnamongirl says:

    Looks Delish…however, you MUST try marinating the pork roast for a day or so in the juice of oranges, limes and lemons, throw some (a head) of garlic, a chili pepper and onion…slow cook it, 225 for while, and YUM.