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A Cuban Sandwich

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Pan Cubano

  • 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lard, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) water

Roast Pork and Marinade

  • 1 (1 1/4 pound) boneless pork roast or pork tenderloin
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1 tablespoon paprika (preferably hot)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

Sandwich Filling

  • Sliced roast pork
  • 3/4 pound thinly sliced smoked ham
  • 3/4 pound thinly sliced Swiss cheese
  • 4 dill pickles, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil


Manual Method

  1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or dough-rising bucket, cover the bowl or bucket, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 hour, depending on the warmth of your kitchen. Gently fold the dough in upon itself and turn it upside-down after 30 minutes; this "turn" helps eliminate some of the excess carbon dioxide and redistributes the yeast's food, both imperative for optimum yeast growth.

Mixer Method

  1. Combine the ingredients as directed at left, using a flat beater paddle or beaters, then switch to the dough hook(s) and knead for 5 to 8 minutes.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl or dough-rising bucket, cover the bowl or bucket, and allow the dough to rise, with a turn, as directed above.

Bread Machine Method

  1. Place all of the ingredients into the pan of your machine, program the machine for Manual or Dough, and press Start. Examine the dough about 10 minutes before the end of the final kneading cycle, and adjust its consistency with additional water or flour as needed, to produce a smooth, supple dough. Allow the machine to complete its cycle.
  2. Divide the dough into six pieces, and shape each piece into a rough log. Let the logs rest for 15 minutes, covered, then shape each piece into a smooth batard shape (a log about 8 inches long, slightly tapered at each end). Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal, and place the loaves on the baking sheet.
  3. Let the loaves rise, covered, for 1 hour. Brush or spray them with water, and slash one long lengthwise slit down the middle of each loaf.
  4. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F while the loaves are rising.
  5. Transfer the loaves from the cornmeal-sprinkled pan to your oven stone (if you have one), or leave them on the pan and place them in the preheated oven (if baked on a sheet pan, the loaves will be slightly less puffy). Bake the bread for 16 to 18 minutes, or until it's golden brown. Remove it from the oven, and cool it on a wire rack. The loaves may be made one day in advance and stored at room temperature, or several weeks in advance and frozen. Yield: 6 sandwich loaves.

Roasting The Pork

  1. Mix all of the marinade ingredients together (all of the ingredients except the pork), and rub this mixture over all surfaces of the pork. Cover well, and refrigerate for 6 to 24 hours.
  2. Place the pork in a roasting pan or ovenproof dish, and roast it in a preheated 425 degree F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, basting occasionally with the pan juices, until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the roast registers 160 degrees F. Remove the pork from the oven, and cool it completely before slicing thinly.

Sandwich Assembly

  1. Slice the Cuban loaves in half horizontally. Brush the cut surfaces of the rolls with olive oil, soft butter or the remaining pan juices. Layer the sandwiches as follows: Swiss cheese, sliced pickle, ham, sliced roast pork, then additional cheese.
  2. Now comes the somewhat challenging part. You want to grill these sandwiches, top and bottom, while at the same time flattening them slightly. This helps meld all of the filling ingredients. Heat two large skillets, or a grill and one skillet, to medium-hot. Lightly grease the grill and/or skillets. Place the sandwiches in the greased pan(s). Top them with a piece of parchment paper, then the remaining skillet (or flat sheet pan, or other heavy, flat, non-meltable object -- the point is to weigh them down). Press down firmly on the top pan, and weigh it down. A teakettle filled with water makes a good weight, as does a clean brick wrapped in aluminum foil.
  3. Grill the sandwiches for 5 to 8 minutes over medium heat, checking often to make sure the bottoms aren't burning (we burned our first attempts to a crisp). Adjust the heat downward if the bottoms are becoming brown after only a couple of minutes. Turn the sandwiches over and grill for several more minutes, until they're crisp on both sides.

Yield: 6 sandwiches, 12 servings

Posted by Olga at Recipe Goldmine 3/27/02 7:33:25 pm.