“chef” inspired cubanos

As a self-proclaimed foodie, even our television is following my culinary obsession! Saturday night we curled up (with some take-out, eek!) and finally watched Jon Favreau’s Chef. While most people watch movies about riches and turn green with envy, I was 14 shades of verde following this chef’s trip to food truck heaven. Not only was I dreaming of my own menu and sous-chef and restaurant quality cookware, but I was drooling over the authentic latin cubano, or Cuban,  sandwiches! This twist on a ham and cheese was a favorite of immigrant Cuban workers and remains a classic dish in spots like Miami (pictured in the film). I HAD to make it…so here’s the hunted down recipe for Chef‘s Mojo Pork Cubanos.

Grilled Cubanos

Grilled Cubanos

Mojo Pork Cubanos


6 oz. thinly sliced ham

Softened butter

6 long soft baguettes or hero rolls

Yellow mustard

¾ lb. thinly sliced Mojo-Marinated Pork Shoulder (recipe below)

½ lb. thinly sliced Swiss cheese

3 half-sour dill pickles, thinly slice


Heat a cast-iron griddle or panini press over medium heat. Add the ham and cook, turning once, until browned, about 1 minute. Transfer to a plate.

Generously butter the insides of each roll and toast on the same pan over medium heat until lightly browned. Move to a work surface and spread the yellow mustard on the insides of the rolls. Layer the ham, pork, Swiss cheese and pickles on the rolls and close.

Layer and overstuff...you'll sandwich will thin out in your press

Layer and overstuff…you’ll sandwich will thin out in your press

Now, brush the outside of the sandwiches with butter and transfer them to the pan or press; if using a griddle, weigh the sandwiches down by topping them with a large baking sheet and weigh it down with heavy cans or a cast-iron skillet. Cook the sandwiches over moderate heat until they’re browned and crisp on the outside and the cheese is melted, 3 minutes per side on a griddle or 3 minutes total in a press. Cut the Cubanos in and serve hot.

Foot long perfection!

Foot long perfection!

Mojo-Marinated Pork Shoulder


1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup lightly-packed chopped cilantro

1 TBS orange zest

¾ cup fresh orange juice (About 1)

½ cup fresh lime juice (About 3)

¼ cup lightly packed chopped mint leaves

8 cloves minced garlic

1 TBS minced oregano

2 tsp ground cumin

Salt and pepper

3 ½ lbs. boneless pork shoulder, in one piece (I used boneless pork loin center cut ’cause it’s what was on sale and I cut it in half ’cause we only 2 people, folks!)

Citrusy, herbed goodness!

Citrusy, herbed goodness!


In a bowl, whisk together ingredients from olive oil to cumin. Add in 1 tsp each of salt and pepper. Transfer the marinade to a large resealable plastic bag and add the pork. Seal the bag and toss to coat; set in a baking dish and refrigerate overnight.

Marinating overnight allows the pork to soak up and blend all the flavors

Marinating overnight allows the pork to soak up and blend all the flavors

Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove pork from marinade and discard. Fold the pork under itself, if necessary, and tie with string to form a roll. Season liberally all over with salt and pepper and place in roasting pan.

Roast the pork for 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue roasting for 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the meat reaches 160 degrees. Remove from the oven and let rest for 30 minutes. Untie and slice across the grain.

I used a smaller piece of pork, so I cut the time so as not to over cook the pork (which tends to be the case with this meat!)

I used a smaller piece of pork, so I cut the time so as not to over cook the pork (which tends to be the case with this meat!)

Yowzah! Bienviendo a Miami! These sandwiches were rockin’, no disappointment here. We stick to a lot of Italian dishes in our house since it’s what we know but oh how I love the nights I branch out to different cuisine. This pork, slow roasted and long marinaded would be phenomenal on just about anything; over salad, with mashed potatoes, in breakfast hash, with a good mojito :). The only regret I have is not making the whole roast because the leftovers definitely wouldn’t have gone to waste! Thanks for the #inspiration Chef, and cheers to Foodie dreams 🙂

Served with, okay, a not so traditional side of steak fries :)

Served with, okay, a not so traditional side of steak fries 🙂

Eat Well,

Stephanie a.k.a. The Foodetarian

2 responses to ““chef” inspired cubanos

  1. We loved the movie, Chef. Your uncle recommended we watch it. Your Cubanos looks delicious.

  2. The next time I get a pork shoulder I’ll have to try this out with the left overs.

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