“By no means am I saying this is the perfect sandwich or even the perfect cuban sandwich,” Beltran says. “When I think of a cuban sandwich, the first thing that comes to mind is I will pick up my bread the day I plan to make it. But before that, there is much to do.”
1 loaf fresh cuban bread
3 tablespoons mustard aioli (recipe follows)
6 slices bread and butter pickles
4 ounces roast pork sliced (recipe follows)
6 slices Molinari soppressata
5 slices Benton’s country ham
5 slices Landaff cheese (can be ordered online)
4 tablespoons clarified butter
4 pounds pork shoulder
1 cup sour orange juice
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly shaved
1 bay leaf
6 tablespoons ground cumin
6 tablespoons ground coriander
6 tablespoons ground black pepper
6 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
- Cut ends off the bread loaf (“Give them a kiss before you toss them; it’s Abuela’s tradition,’’ Beltran says), slice loaf into six-inch pieces, and cut those in half. Generously brush mustard aioli on bottom slices and cover evenly with pickles. Next, build the sandwich with two layers of pork, and one layer each of sopressata, ham, and Landaff cheese. Top with bread
- Warm a flat panini press. Slather sandwich generously with butter on both sides. Place on press. The key to this process is patience, Beltran says. “Don’t you dare press the panini press down. Let gravity do the work, you will see the top of the press slowly drop. Once the cheese is melted you will have achieved the Cuban sandwich by MichaelBeltran.”Cut in half and serve with an ice-cold Jupiña and plantain chips.
- 1 cup homemade mayonnaise (or substitute Duke’s)
- 1 cup of yellow mustard (Beltran prefers Sir Kensington’s)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Combine all ingredients until smooth and set aside.
- Marinate pork shoulder overnight in sour orange juice, oil, onion, and bay leaf. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pat pork shoulder until completely dry. Combine spices, salt, and sugar, and generously season pork until completely coated. Place in a deep roasting pan with a rack.
- Place pork shoulder in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Lower temperature to 275 degrees. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees, about another 45 minutes. Cool to room temperature. The pork can be made in advance and refrigerated until the following day. Allow five to six slices per sandwich.
- Recipe by Michael Beltran of Ariete in Coconut Grove, Florida