Sue and I eat a lot of sandwiches. Sandwiches are awesome.
What is weird is that we haven’t shared a lot of sandwiches on our blog.
We definitely need to fix that. I’m going to start right now by sharing one of our favorites. A Cuban sandwich. You can make this on normal bread but if you want it to taste like a super de duper delicious Cuban sandwich then you need to make it on Cuban bread (pan cubano). Homemade bread is a little consuming but always worthwhile in the end! FYI – This is a great way to use up leftover pork roast.
1 1/4 cup hot water
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
4 tsp sugar
3 cups flour
2 tsp salt
4 Tbsp lard (can use butter), melted
Prepare bread – In a small bowl, whisk together water, yeast, and sugar. Let bloom for 5 minutes.
In another bowl, put in flour, salt, and melted lard (or butter). Stir in the active yeast.
Knead dough for 5 minutes, until smooth. Add in a little more flour if dough is too sticky.
Place in an oiled bowl, cover, and place somewhere warm to rise for an hour.
After dough has risen: punch down and divide into 6 logs. Let rest for 15 minutes. Then shape the pieces of dough into 8 inch logs with tapered ends. Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, cover with a clean tea towel, and let rise somewhere warm for another hour.
After buns have risen: preheat oven to 375. Lightly spray the buns with water (or very gently brush water on with a basting brush) With a very sharp blade, place a slash down the center of each bun, leaving about an inch on each end not cut.
Bake at 375 for about 15 minutes, until buns are golden brown on top. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
Prepare sandwiches – Cut Cuban buns in half and place on work surface.
Spread one half of each bun with butter. Then spread both halves generously with yellow mustard.
Top both sides with a slice or two of Swiss cheese. Then layer on the ham, pork roast, and pickle.
Close sandwich and admire how beautiful it is.
Now slather the top with a generous amount of butter.
Place sandwich in tinfoil. I like to put a smear of butter under the sandwich as well.
Wrap the sandwich in the tinfoil (see photo for clarification).
To cook the Cuban sandwich – heat BBQ grill to medium/low heat. Place wrapped sandwich on the grill and top with something heavy, like a cast iron skillet. Grill for 5 minutes. Flip sandwich over and repeat on other side for 5 minutes.
Unwrap the sandwich and grill for 2 – 3 more minutes on each side.
If you do not have a grill – You can cook the sandwiches in a frying pan on the stove top. You do not need to wrap them in foil to do this. Simply get the stage where you cover the top and and bottom with butter, then place in a frying pan over medium/low heat. Place something heavy, like a cast iron skillet, on top and cook for about 5 minutes on each side. You want the cheese to be melted and the sandwich to be heated through.
You can add more cheese if you want things gooier, of course.
I didn’t have a lot of pork roast leftover so I diced mine so it would go further. If you want to leave it in thin slices then that works great too. Even shredded pork roast is fabulous on a Cuban sandwich.
Like a grilled cheese but a magic, otherworldly grilled cheese.
I recommend making the bread up before you need it and freezing it.
You can easily double the recipe for 12 buns instead of 6.