Like the Philly Cheesesteak, the Cuban Sandwich is quickly becoming an icon of Pop-Americana food culture. This unique grilled and pressed sandwich–combining soft white bread with ham, pork roast, Swiss cheese, and pickles–was imported by Cuban immigrants in the Florida keys. The Cuban sandwich has since been made famous by Tampa and Miami street vendors, and it has found fans across the US. It is a fitting culinary counterpart to the robust history and culture of the Cuban cigar-makers who brought it here. Now learn to make it in your kitchen!
Note that Cuban bread is a crispy-crusted, soft, white bread that is formed in a long roll like French bread.
Cuban Sandwich Recipe
makes one huge sandwich
sandwich press OR a heavy cast iron pan or bacon press that fits within another skillet.
- 8 inch length of Cuban bread (substitute a crispy-crusted, soft white
- French or Italian bread)
- yellow mustard
- dill pickle slices to cover evenly (about 8)
- 1/4 pound pork roast, sliced
- 1/4 pound baked ham, thinly sliced
- 1/4 pound Swiss cheese, thinly sliced
1. Slice any ingredients that need slicing, and prepare your bread by slicing it in half horizontally.
2. Assemble your sandwich. Spread the mustard evenly over both sides of the bread. Place the pickle slices over the bottom half so that they don’t overlap. Arrange the roasted pork and then the ham evenly over the pickles. Cover generously with Swiss cheese, then replace top half of bread.
3. Grill and press your sandwich. This step is easiest with a sandwich press. You simply butter the press and make sure it is hot. Insert your sandwich. It is done when it is about 1/3 its original size, cheese is melted, and both sides of bread are golden brown.
If you do not have a sandwich press, you can use a heavy cast-iron skillet or cast-iron bacon press that fits nicely inside of a grilling pan or skillet (anything equally as heavy will do, so long as it is clean and will not melt! Wrap your heavy object in foil to keep it from sticking). Butter your pan and wait until it is hot over medium heat (medium-low for a gas range). Put your sandwich in the bottom pan and then press down on top of it with your cast-iron pan or bacon press. Turn once so that both sides are grilled evenly.
4. Cut in half and serve. (Or, alternately, the Cuban sandwich can be chilled after grilling and served cold). Enjoy!