How to Make a Real-Deal Cuban Sandwich

The traditional Cuban sandwich turns a regular evening into an event. My kids loves these sandwiches and are giddy on days they know I’m making them. Not only are they different from the standard weekly meals, but there’s family history behind them. Oh, and they’re delicious!

As a first-generation Cuban American, the Cuban sandwich was a staple of my childhood diet. My grandfather immigrated to the United States – armed with master butchery skills – and opened a beloved Hispanic grocery store in Southern California, where customers would line up for one of his pressed Cuban sandwiches.

Traditionally made with Cuban bread, the Cuban sandwich is a pressed masterpiece of salty pork and pickles, and tangy mustard, all covered in a melted blanket of Swiss cheese. Cuban bread is similar to French or Italian bread, but I usually opt for bolillo, a typical Mexican bread that you can usually find in major supermarkets.

This real-deal Cuban sandwich recipe also calls for two types of pork – lechon asado (pork marinated in lots of garlic, then roasted) and sliced ham.

Without further ado, here’s how to make your own real-deal Cuban sandwich:

Traditional Cuban Sandwich Recipe

  • 1 loaf of Cuban bread (or substitute with bolillo, French or Italian bread)
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 5-8 ounces Land O’Frost Premium Natural Hickory Smoked Ham
  • 5-8 ounces lechon asado (roasted pork)
  • 1-2 slices Swiss cheese
  • Dill pickles as desired
  • Butter, softened

Simple Directions

  1. Prepare the bread by slicing the loaf lengthwise.
  2. Assemble sandwich by slathering mustard on both sides and top with slices of cheese.
  3. Stack deli ham, roasted pork, and pickles.
  4. Spread one side of the bread with butter and place on grill pan or panini press.
  5. Press firmly down with a spatula if using just a regular pan.
  6. Cook until cheese has started to melt and bread has toasted.
  7. Right before you flip the sandwich, spread a layer of butter on the outside.
  8. Cook until golden brown.

And remember, Cuban sandwiches are pressed, so get it nice and flat. Enjoy!

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