Cuban Mix Sandwich (Cubano) | culture: the word on cheese
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Cuban Mix Sandwich (Cubano)

Cuban Mix Sandwich (Cubano)

Amy Scheuerman
This Cuban-American sandwich is a very meaty upgrade to a traditional grilled cheese, with seasoned, slow-cooked pork.


  • 8 cloves garlic minced to a paste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup citrus juice from 2 oranges
  • 1 lemon 1½ limes
  • ½ cup minced yellow onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano
  • 2 pounds boneless pork picnic shoulder roast
  • ¼ cup olive oil plus more for frying
  • 1 loaf Cuban or soft French bread about 1 foot long
  • 1 pound grated Swiss cheese such as Emmentaler
  • ¾ pound Virginia ham
  • 8 dill pickle rounds
  • Yellow mustard to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter divided


  • In a medium bowl (large enough to hold the pork roast), mix garlic with salt, pepper, citrus juice, onion, and oregano. Cover, and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, remove pork roast from fridge and pierce with a small paring knife to create a rough grid of holes about ¾ inch apart. Blend ¼ cup olive oil with the garliccitrus mixture. Reserve ½ cup of the mixture. Add the pork roast to the bowl with the garlic-citrus mixture. Turn the roast to coat it evenly, cover, and refrigerate for 3 hours, turning once halfway through.
  • Heat oven to 275°F. Remove pork from marinade, and drain. Heat remaining olive oil over high heat in a Dutch oven or ovensafe, heavy-bottomed pan with an ovensafe lid. Sear the pork on all sides. Once the roast is golden brown on all sides, turn off the heat, add the reserved garlic-citrus mixture, cover the Dutch oven, and place it in the oven. Cook for 4 hours, turning the roast halfway through the cooking time.
  • Remove the roast from the oven, and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Shred half for the sandwich, and save the rest for another meal. Meanwhile, heat a griddle or a large sauté pan over medium-low heat.
  • Split the loaf of bread in half horizontally. Layer half the cheese, ham, shredded roast pork, remaining grated cheese, and pickles on the bottom piece of bread. Spread yellow mustard on the top piece of bread, and close the sandwich.
  • Melt half the butter on a griddle or sauté pan. Place sandwich on the griddle, and weigh down with a foil-wrapped skillet or Dutch oven. Press the sandwich as it cooks. After about 5 minutes, check to see if the bread has turned golden brown, and if so, add remaining butter, flip the sandwich, press again, and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Cut sandwich into 4 pieces, and serve while still hot.


* If you want to derivate from the traditional cheese for this recipe, here are some suggestions for alternate cheeses, all pulled from the 75 award-winning cheeses described within our Best Cheeses 2014 issue.
  • Urnäscher Hornkuhkäse
  • Fromagerie Moléson Gruyère AOP mi-salé
  • Fromagerie du Presbytère Louis d’Or
  • Spring Brook Farm Tarentaise Reserve

Amy Scheuerman

Amy Scheuerman—culture's former web director—spent eight years in North Carolina where she developed a love of barbecue and biscuits before moving up north to get a degree in nutrition. She now works at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

Photographer Dominic Perri

Dominic Perri is a passionate food photographer splitting his time between Massachusetts and New York City. He has been professionally photographing food for almost 10 years. See more of his work at