Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cuban Sandwich

I noticed that on the Food Network, three of the cooking shows were featuring Cuban Sandwiches. It sounded pretty good, so here is Nellie's version:

Make a dry rub of 1 Tblsp cumin, 1 Tblsp dried oregano.
Lightly sprinkle a 2 ½ - 3 pound pork loin with Adolf’s tenderizer. Rub with the cumin-oregano rub and let stand for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, thinly slice one onion and mince 4 cloves garlic. In a Dutch oven, heat 2 Tblsp bacon fat and cook the onion and garlic until soft. At the rubbed pork loin to the pot and sear on all sides. Add 1 cup orange juice, 1 Tblsp lime juice and one quart chicken or turkey stock. Cover and roast at 300 F for 3 ½ to 4 hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the braising liquid. Shred with forks.

To build the sandwich; cut a loaf of Ciabatta bread in half lengthwise. Brush outsides of top and bottom lightly with oil and lay down on wax paper (to control the mess). Spread the inside of the bottom half generously with Dijon mustard. Then layer as follows: slices of Swiss cheese, slices of bread and butter pickles, sliced ham, the braised pork, a drizzle of braising liquid, and more slices of Swiss cheese. Place the top half of the bread loaf on and put the whole sandwich on the preheated George Foreman Grill. Close the lid and press down firmly, holding it down while the sandwich cooks and compresses to about one-third of its original height and both layers of cheese are melted. Cut into serving sizes and serve warm. Makes about 5 good-sized servings.

Note: Can also be toasted on a hot griddle or barbecue grill. Use a brick wrapped in tin foil or a heavy skillet to press and compact the sandwich while it cooks. You’ll have to turn it over and toast both sides. Using the George Foreman Grill eliminates the need to turn the large sandwich over.

Another Note: This makes more than enough braised pork for one large sandwich. I used leftovers in Quesadillas with braised pork, thinly sliced leeks, thin slices of tomato and finely shredded Mexican cheese blend.