Roast Pork for a Cuban Sandwich?

I want to make some Cuban sandwiches at home, but Im a little hung up on how exactly to properly roast pork to slice for the sandwich. Is it a pork loin? Do I sear it in a pan and then toss it in the oven in maybe a dutch ove? (what can I do if I dont have a dutch oven?). Do I rub it with anything particular?

5 Answers

  • jeanmarieok Mar 23, 2021

    I made a pork loin on Sunday for cuban sandwiches. I trimmed it of most outside fat, marinated in a bottle of bitter orange (goya brand) and some mojo spice for about 4 hours. I took it out, patted it dry, sprinkled with more spice, quick sear on the stove top, topped with some onion slices, and roasted at 350 for about 90 minutes (it was at 155 when I pulled it, usually pull at 145, but missed it).

    • Titus0327 Mar 23, 2021

      thanks. well it sounds delicious, but you didnt say how it came out and tasted on the sandwich? 🙂

      also, mojo spice? is that something i can find in any spice aisle?

      ive seen mojo marinade, would that work ya think?

      • bushwickgirl Mar 23, 2021

        The authentic roast pork for a Cuban sandwich is from the pork shoulder, otherwise known as a Boston butt. The Spanish name is Pernil (Puerto Rican, pronounced per-knee) or Lechon (suckling pig) Asado (Cuban) and is marinated with a mojo (wet rub), slow roasted and pulled off the bone in chunks. It’s delicious and much better than a pork loin, IMO, tender and juicy. There is a difference in seasoning between the Pernil and the Lechon with the addition of the juice; it just depends on what you like. The Cuban is more authentic, but I make and use Pernil for Cuban sandwiches, as we have Puerto Ricans in the family.

        However, properly seasoning a pork shoulder takes at least 2-3 days in the frig, then 2-3 hours of roasting, plus pork shoulders can be upwards of 6-7 lbs, for the smaller ones, so you’ll have lots left over, but it’s similar to pulled pork, and can be used in a similar manner. Pork shoulder is cheaper than loin, as well.

        So, if you want authentic, either bite the bullet and make a Pernil, or buy some already roasted Pernil at a Spanish (Cuban or Puerto Rican) restaurant, or use the pork loin, marinated with this mojo for at least 24 hours, then slowly roasted:

        Adobo mojo (wet seasoning), Cuban style:
        20 cloves garlic, peeled
        1 ½ tablespoons fine sea or kosher salt
        1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns
        2 tsp dried oregano
        2 tablespoons olive oil
        11/2 cup sour orange juice, or 1 cup orange and 1/4 each cup lime and lemon juice

        Pound the garlic cloves and salt to a paste using a mortar and pestle or use a food processor. Add the peppercorns and oregano, pounding well after each to incorporate them into the paste. Stir in the olive oil and and the juice.

        Wet adobo will keep 5 to 6 days in the refrigerator, which gives you a chance to use it as a marinade with anything you like from fish fillets and pork chops to turkey or chicken cutlets or cut up chicken, then grill.

        Here’s a link with basic Pernil instructions, Puerto Rican style:
        http://www.elboricua.com/pernil.html
        Here’s a link for the Cuban Lechon Asado:
        http://icuban.com/food/lechon_asado.html

        If you follow these instructions and use a pork loin, do not remove the fat cap, stud the pork loin with garlic slivers or just use the adobo mojo, marinate for at least 24 hours in a plastic zip lock bag that you can turn over, and roast the loin slowly, 300* or even lower, until internal temp reaches 155*.

        Your house will smell great while the pork is roasting and your friends and family will love you even more for doing this.

        • jeanmarieok Mar 23, 2021

          It came out delicious (I probably make this 5 or 6 times a year), and was perfect even if I let it go a little too long in the oven. That mojo spice I referred to is really called adobo – and I use the regular, full salt version, made by Goya.

          • Mild Bill Mar 23, 2021

            If you think that was good, try bushwickgirl’s recipe—- it’ll make your head explode….
            I know, because mine’s ‘almost’ identical, and I’m famous for it!
            It also makes the BEST Thanksgiving Toykey!

            I use Oregano ‘powder’ that I buzz in a coffee/spice grinder….
            Better oregano flavor…

            You can easily get a Boston Butt Roast that’s 4-5 pounds..
            Marinated overnight and baked covered, you can eat half of it hot, tender, and juicy, for dinner with yellow rice, a salad, and bread & butter——and then refrigerate the other half and slice it cold if you want, for Cuban sammiches…
            Tieing up the roast before cooking makes the slicing later easier, but of course you don’t have to use ‘sliced’ pork in a sandwich…

            Nice post Bushy!

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