By Sylt Pickling

The Cubano

The Cuban Sandwich, also known as a Cubano, traces its history back to the homeland of Cuba. It evolved as a popular lunch food for workers in the late 1800s Havana and latterly Key West. It gained popularity among the Cuban immigrant communities in Florida, especially in Tampa and Miami, blending local ingredients with traditional Cuban flavours.

The sandwich is a reflection of the cultural melting pot, incorporating elements from various immigrant groups in Florida, making it a staple of Cuban-American cuisine. The pickles add a sharpness and extra crunch, and we guarantee you that a delightful eating experience awaits at the end.


For the Pickles

  • Mini-Cucumbers
  • Sylt Dill & Mustard Pickling Vinegar

For the Mojo Roast Pork

  • 800 grams pork shoulder
  • 200 ml citrus juice (we used a mix of grapefruit, orange, lemon and lime)
  • 1 tbsp Scotch Bonnet & Lemon pickling liquid
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • ½ brown onion or 1 shallot
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fine salt
  • 140 ml olive oil

For the Sandwich

  • Cuban bread
  • Ham
  • Roast pork
  • Swiss cheese
  • American or Dijon Mustard.

Cuban bread is a staple for making an authentic Cuban sandwich. It's known for its thin crust and soft, slightly chewy interior. In the UK, a good alternative to Cuban bread could be a soft baguette or Italian ciabatta bread, as these varieties offer a similar texture and are more readily available. These alternatives help maintain the integrity of the sandwich's traditional profile, providing a suitable base for the delicious fillings. That being said, if you can be bothered to make them yourself (they are not that hard), you will be in for an absolute treat and will have a significantly better sandwich experience.

The Cuban Sandwich features a combination of ham, salami and roast pork, creating a rich and savoury taste profile. The ham offers a slightly sweet and salty flavour, while the roast pork brings a depth of taste and tenderness to the sandwich. Together, they provide a delicious contrast in textures and flavours, enhanced by the other ingredients like Swiss cheese, mustard and, of course, pickles making the sandwich a well-rounded and satisfying meal.


For the pickles

If you have some pickles already made that’s great but if you are starting a fresh batch follow these simplified steps:

  1. Prepare the Jars: Start with sterilised jars and lids.
  2. Prepare the Pickles: Wash the cucumbers.
  3. Fill Jars: Place the cucumbers tightly in jars and cover with the pickling liquid.
  4. Seal Jars: Close the jars tightly.
  5. Leave to pickle: Leave the jars in a dark place to infuse. We’d ideally say for a few days but at least overnight.

For the pork:

  1. Make your mojo marinade: start by mixing the crushed garlic, minced onion/shallot, the herbs and spices in a bowl. Mix in the citrus juice, pickling liquid and olive oil and blend until smooth.
  2. Cut some incisions in the pork and submerge in your marinade. Refrigerate and leave to marinade overnight.
  3. Place the pork in an oven-proof casserole and pour in the rest of the marinade, until the pork is covered halfway up. Top up with chicken stock if you don’t have enough marinade.
  4. Roast for 10 minutes at 200°C, before turning the heat down to around 160°C for 2-3 hours. Turn your pork regularly to ensure browning on all sides.
  5. Once tender, pull your pork apart, and separate the remaining marinade from the fat from the pan, reduce for a couple of minutes if necessary and use this to coat the roast pork.,

Assemble your Cubano:

  1. Fry the cooked ham for a couple of minutes on each side.
  2. Start with Cuban bread and begin by cutting the bread lengthwise.
  3. Spread mustard on both halves, then layer the ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, and thinly sliced pickles – lengthwise.
  4. Close the sandwich and press it in a panini press or a hot skillet until the bread is crispy, the cheese has melted, and the ingredients are warmed through.
  5. Slice diagonally and serve hot.

It’s as simple as that but this classic sandwich combines savoury flavours with the tangy crunch of pickles, wrapped in a toasty, pressed loaf for a delicious meal