Cuban sandwiches

  • Preparation Time8 mins
  • Cooking Time25 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy
Two 38-cm-long soft French or Italian bread loaves
65ml yellow mustard
115g thinly sliced boiled ham
8 lengthwise slices dill pickle (from about 2 pickles)
450g pulled slow-roasted pork shoulder, recipe follows
115g thinly sliced Swiss cheese
30g unsalted butter

For the slow-roasted pork shoulder

2 heaped tbsp black peppercorns
25 cloves garlic, (about 2 heads) peeled
10 whole cloves
190ml vegetable oil
1 bone-in pork shoulder, (about 3.15kg)
Sea salt, as needed
White distilled vinegar, as needed
1) Slice off about 2.5cm from the ends of the bread loaves and discard or save for breadcrumbs. Cut each loaf in half to make 4 rectangular loaves. Split each loaf in half lengthwise. Spread the inside of the bread with 1/2 tbsp mustard. On each of the bottom halves of bread layer 1/4 of the ham, pickle slices cut to fit evenly on top of the meat, 1/4 of the pork, and top with 1/4 of the cheese. Cover with the top halves of bread and, using your hands, press the sandwiches together.

2) Place a baking tray in the oven and preheat to 125C/Gas Mark 1/2. Melt 15g of butter in a large cast-iron skillet or frying pan over medium-low heat. Place 2 sandwiches in the skillet or pan and top with another cast-iron skillet, or similar, to weigh them down. Turn the sandwiches and weigh them down again. Cook the sandwiches until golden brown and hot, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer to the oven to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches and butter. Cut the sandwiches in half crosswise and serve immediately.

3) For the slow-roasted pork shoulder: Preheat the oven to 140C/Gas Mark 1.

4) In a food processor, combine the peppercorns, garlic, and cloves and puree. While the motor is running, drizzle in the oil until a paste is formed. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the garlic paste into a small bowl.

5) Place the pork on a work surface and season all over generously with salt. Rub all over with the garlic paste. Place in an oven-safe roasting bag and close with a twist tie. Place in a large roasting pan, and cook until tender, about 5 hours.

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