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Sandwiches Cubanos

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 13 July 2010 at 15:16


Photo credit: http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2451/3776034859_7b5e64b835.jp g

Here is some background on this delicious and unique sandwich, which sprang up in the Miami, Florida area among the Cuban and Puerto-Rican populations:

Quote History of Cuban sandwich - “Sandwiche Cubano

(The way to pronounce “Cubano” just like the Cubans do is to say “Cooh-Wano” as the hard sound of the letter B is swallowed and slurred into the remainder of the word.)

The Cuban sandwich, also known as the “cubano”, is a popular meal in south Florida where many Cubans have settled since the early 20th century. These tasty, toasted Cuban sandwiches are definitely Tampa and Miami, Florida's favorite snack. These treats can be found in most restaurants in these cities, but the best places to buy them are from the street corner-snack bars, called loncherias.

Every Cuban sandwich aficionado believes in their own version of this sandwich. In fact, they're usually passionate about this and will readily debate among themselves the finer point of how to make a Cuban sandwich. No visit to Tampa or Miami would be complete without sampling the cities claim to fame - the Cuban sandwich. (To note : even the writer admits that there are different variants of the “true cubano”)

The sandwiches have a submarine-style layering of ham, roast pork, cheese, and pickle between a sliced length of Cuban bread. The key to a great, versus a good, Cuban sandwich lies in the grilling. A great Cuban sandwich is grilled in a sandwich press ... until the ham, pork, and pickles have warmed in their own steam (the steady application of heat and weight fuse the meat, cheese, and bread into a delectable and compact treat). One of the greatest sins in Cuban sandwich preparation is too light a press. A heavy hand on the press pushes all the juices and flavors together while still achieving the desired crunch crust. These sandwiches use no mayonnaise, lettuce, onions, bell peppers, or tomatoes; however, butter and mustard are optional. Cuban sandwiches are sold hot (pressed) or cold (room temperature).

The most important part of a Cuban sandwich is the bread. It is not ordinary bread, but Cuban bread. Believers say that true Cuban bread cannot be found outside of Tampa or Miami. Italian bread or French bread are acceptable substitutions in other parts of the country, but they are not the same. Cuban bread is noted for its split or bloom down the middle of its crust. This long, crusty loaf features a tender, but not chewy, interior. Cuban bread is best when it is eaten on the same day that it is made, as Cuban bread contains lard. After a day or so, the lard hardens, and the bread gets dry.

© 2004 by Linda Stradley

In order to make these, you will need to go in three steps: first, you need to marinate a pork roast in adobo mojado, then you will need to transform it into pernil by roasting or barbecuing it until it is wonderfully moist and tender; finally, you will need to assemble the sandwiches.

Here are the recipes for all three steps, from Daisy Martinez. If you are interested in giving this a try, please also follow the links preceding the adobo mojado and pernil recipes for some notes and discussion that may be helpful.

First, the adobo mojado marinade for the pork roast:

foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/topic684_post3661.html#3661

Quote Adobo Mojado

You’ll hear me say over and over how a simple thing like sofrito will change your life. This is another one of those little life-changing secrets. Adobo...either wet or dry..., will change the way you make pork, chicken, beef, and even fish. I run the risk of repeating myself, but this is not shy or subtle. It is very much “in your face” food, and I mean that, of course, in a good way.

Yield: Makes about ½ cup

Ingredients

12 cloves garlic, peeled
1½ tablespoons fine sea or kosher salt (see Notes)
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Directions

Pound the garlic cloves and salt to a paste using a mortar and pestle. Add the peppercorns and oregano, pounding well after each one to incorporate them into the paste. Stir in the oil and vinegar.

Notes

The salt keeps the garlic from flying all over the place as you pound them together.

This wet rub will keep for 5 to 6 days in the refrigerator, which gives you a chance to try it on anything you like, from fish fillets and pork chops to turkey cutlets and steaks.

© 2005 Daisy Martinez



Next, the preparation of the pernil (roast pork):

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/pernil-puerto-rican- roast-pork-shoulder_topic683.html

Quote Pernil

If you were to ask me, “What does Christmas smell like?” I wouldn’t say “pine” or “fresh snow,” I would say, “Pernil.” By the time my kids finish their cereal on Christmas Eve morning, the house is filled with the wonderful aroma of roast pork.

You want the shoulder, not the butt, for this, and you definitely want the skin on. If you have the opportunity to marinate the roast for three days, two days, or even overnight, you’ll be rewarded with a roast that has juicy, fragrant, tender meat and crispy, salty, mahogany-colored skin. It’s so good, I’m almost afraid I have to bring it up in confession!

Yield: Makes 8 large servings plus leftovers

Ingredients

One 4½-pound skin-on pork shoulder roast
Adobo Mojado (wet rub for meat)

Directions

1. Up to 3 days before you serve the roast, set it in a bowl, skin side up. With a paring or boning knife, make several slits about ½ inches apart through the skin of the roast and into the meat. Make the slits as deep as you can. Wiggle a finger in the slits to open them up a bit and then fill each one with wet rub using a teaspoon. (A pair of latex gloves comes in handy when it comes time to rub the wet rub into the pork.) Do the same on all sides. If you have rub left over, smear it all over the outside of the roast. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 day or up to 3 days.

2. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

3. Set the roast, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 1 hour, turn the heat down to 400°F, and roast until the skin is a deep golden brown and crackly and with no trace of pink near the bone, about 1½ hours or until an instant reading thermometer inserted near the bone registers 160°F. Let the roast rest at least 15 minutes before carving.

4. To serve, remove the crispy skin. It will pull right off in big pieces. Cut them into smaller pieces—kitchen shears work well for this—and pile them in the center of the platter. Carve the meat parallel to the bones all the way down to the bone. (It will get trickier to carve neat slices as you get near the bone; don’t let that bother you).

Notes

A good rule of thumb for roasting pork is to cook the roast half an hour for every pound.

© 2005 Daisy Martinez



And finally, the assembly and cooking of the sandwiches themselves:

Quote Cubanos

If you have a panini maker or grilled sandwich maker, this is a good place to use it. Be generous with the meat—make it as if it’s for someone you really love.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

1 loaf Italian bread (about 24 inches long) or 4 hero rolls
Mayonnaise
Sliced leftover pernil (Puerto Rican Roast Pork Shoulder)
3 fairly thick slices boiled ham
Sliced bread and butter pickles or any other type of pickle you like
½ pound fairly thickly sliced Swiss cheese

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Split the bread lengthwise and spread the bottom of the loaf with mayo. Make an even layer of the pork, then add the ham, pickles, and cheese. Top with the other piece of bread and press lightly but firmly.

2. Wrap the sandwich(es) securely in foil and lay between 2 baking sheets. Set on the oven rack and weight the top sheet with a heavy ovenproof skillet. Bake until warmed through and the cheese has softened, about 30 minutes. Serve warm, cut into manageable pieces.

© 2005 Daisy Martinez



Now, armed with this information, you're ready to give this a try!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2012 at 18:57
A Dominican restaurant near me sells pernil sandwiches. Boy are they good!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2012 at 23:59
They sure are, Melissa - I made a rudimentary version of these some time ago, and I thoroughly enjoyed them!
 
Ok, let's have a look at how to do this "by the numbers...."

The first step in preparing Cubanos is making the pernil, and the first step in making pernil is making the adobo mojado - here's how it's done.

Here are the goods - as easy as it gets:

From Daisy Martinez: 

Quote Pernil

If you were to ask me, “What does Christmas smell like?” I wouldn’t say “pine” or “fresh snow,” I would say, “Pernil.” By the time my kids finish their cereal on Christmas Eve morning, the house is filled with the wonderful aroma of roast pork.

You want the shoulder, not the butt, for this, and you definitely want the skin on. If you have the opportunity to marinate the roast for three days, two days, or even overnight, you’ll be rewarded with a roast that has juicy, fragrant, tender meat and crispy, salty, mahogany-colored skin. It’s so good, I’m almost afraid I have to bring it up in confession!

The first step in making pernil is to make a very flavourful rub/paste called adobo mojado:
 
Quote Adobo Mojado

You’ll hear me say over and over how a simple thing like sofrito will change your life. This is another one of those little life-changing secrets. Adobo...either wet or dry..., will change the way you make pork, chicken, beef, and even fish. I run the risk of repeating myself, but this is not shy or subtle. It is very much “in your face” food, and I mean that, of course, in a good way.

Yield: Makes about ½ cup

Ingredients

12 cloves garlic, peeled
1½ tablespoons fine sea or kosher salt (see Notes)
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

Directions

Pound the garlic cloves and salt to a paste using a mortar and pestle. Add the peppercorns and oregano, pounding well after each one to incorporate them into the paste. Stir in the oil and vinegar.

Notes

The salt keeps the garlic from flying all over the place as you pound them together.

This wet rub will keep for 5 to 6 days in the refrigerator, which gives you a chance to try it on anything you like, from fish fillets and pork chops to turkey cutlets and steaks.

© 2005 Daisy Martinez

Once the adobo mojado is made, you can proceed with the pernil:
 
Quote Yield: Makes 8 large servings plus leftovers

Ingredients

One 4½-pound skin-on pork shoulder roast
Adobo Mojado (wet rub for meat)

Directions

1. Up to 3 days before you serve the roast, set it in a bowl, skin side up. With a paring or boning knife, make several slits about ½ inches apart through the skin of the roast and into the meat. Make the slits as deep as you can. Wiggle a finger in the slits to open them up a bit and then fill each one with wet rub using a teaspoon. (A pair of latex gloves comes in handy when it comes time to rub the wet rub into the pork.) Do the same on all sides. If you have rub left over, smear it all over the outside of the roast. Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 day or up to 3 days.

2. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

3. Set the roast, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 1 hour, turn the heat down to 400°F, and roast until the skin is a deep golden brown and crackly and with no trace of pink near the bone, about 1½ hours or until an instant reading thermometer inserted near the bone registers 160°F. Let the roast rest at least 15 minutes before carving.

4. To serve, remove the crispy skin. It will pull right off in big pieces. Cut them into smaller pieces—kitchen shears work well for this—and pile them in the center of the platter. Carve the meat parallel to the bones all the way down to the bone. (It will get trickier to carve neat slices as you get near the bone; don’t let that bother you).

Notes

A good rule of thumb for roasting pork is to cook the roast half an hour for every pound.

© 2005 Daisy Martinez

Here are some of my own some cooking notes:
 
It says to start the roast at 450 for a few mintues and then reduce down to 400. I see what they're trying to do there, but my recommendation is almost exactly opposite. Start at a low temperature (275-325), then roast until it's almost done, then turn it up on broil to sear the outside if you want. That way, the roast comes out very, very tender, with all the fat rendered out. I would also recommend letting the roast "rest," covered, for half an hour or so before serving. I do that for my barbecue, and it is always tender, juicy and very good!
 
Also, She says to cook until you reach an internal temperature of 160, but for tenderness and rendering the fat as I describe above, I recommend an internal tempcloser to 180 or 185 for sliceable pork roast; 190-200 internal will provide a pulled-pork texture, which is also really good.
 
Doing it as described above worked very well for me, and the flavour was amazing.
 
Let's have a look at how to do this "by the numbers...."

The first step in preparing pernil is making the adobo mojado - here's how it's done.
Here are the goods - as easy as it gets:

The garlic cloves I used were very large, so I didn't quite use a dozen of them. Also, I didn't have any white wine vinegar on hand, but no matter - red wine vinegar is just fine; nearly any acid used in cooking would do. I have often used various citrus juice combinations similar to naranja agria ("bitter orange" juice (from Seville oranges) with good success.

One way to prepare adobo mojado is in a food processor, which I did for my first attempt. After crushing and peeling the garlic cloves, I placed them in the food processr with (clockwise from top) oregano, kosher salt and pepper:

Next, I added the olive oil and the red wine vinegar:

I actually added a teaspoon or so extra of olive oil, since the bottle was nearly empty - but that's no problem.

I pulsed the food processor a few times:

Not quite done enough for my preference, so I pulsed it some more, using longer pulses:

That's just about right! It can be pulverized even more, if one wishes, but this is what I wanted, so this is what I got.

How easy is that?

The food processor works just fine for making this, and you will not regret using it. It's what I used for a very long time with absolutely no complaints. But if you want to take the experience and the results up a notch, another way to prepare adobo mojado, which is superiour in my opinion, is to use a mortar and pestle. I purchased one recently from www.latienda.com:
 
 
 
I must say, after making my adobo this way, that it will be the only way I make it in the future; either way works, but this really gets you down into the experience, in my opinion.
 
Here we are, mashing the garlic and salt into a wonderful paste:
 
 
And here, we see the whole peppercorns crushed into the garlic and salt:
 
 
Next, the oregano was worked into the mix:
 
 
And finally, here we have the finished adobo, with the olive oil and acid (in this case, naranga agria) added in:
 
 
The result, in my opinion, is a much better paste that really allows a person to work all of the flavours of the adobo into whatever you're using it with.
 
Once the adobo mojado was ready, I turned my attention to the pork:

Since I'm going to be slicing this for Cubanos, a boneless shoulder cut is perfect; however, if this were going to be for a roast pork supper, then a bone-in shoulder would be fine as well.

This roast is just under 4 pounds - the amount of adobo mojado that I made works well for this:

And I could probably go another half-pound more before I needed to make a second batch of adobo mojado.

Ideally, I would marinate the pork in a ziplock bag or possibly even a vacuum sealer, but today, I did it in a large "popcorn bowl." I began by putting a little of the adobo mojado in the bottom of the bowl:

Then I pressed the pork, fat-cap-down, into the bottom and proceeded to spread the remaining adobo mojado on top of the shoulder roast:

I then covered the roast and bowl well, and put them in the refrigerator to marinate. I turned the roast over a couple of times a day and kept it covered with the adobo mojado.

Please note, people ~ I did make ONE mistake in my procedure up there! I coated the outside of the roast with adobo mojado, which is fine, but I should have also cut a few fairly-deep slits into the roast in various places and worked some of the rub into the interior of the roast, as well.
 
I did just that the first time I made pernil, and it did absolutely wonderful things for the pork. Considering the nature of the rub ingredients, which tend to carmelise and nearly burn on the outside while cooking, it actually seems better to me that most of the rubushould be on the inside of the roast, rather than on the outside, where it just sloughs off and turns black.
 
Here's a later pork roast that has the slits cut into it for the insertion of the adobo:
 
 
As you can see, this method allows for better penetration of the adobo into the meat, and a superiour fusion of the flavours.
 
Worthy of note here is that the roast was pre-trimmed by the butcher, much to my disappointment. Normally, a pork shouldere roast such as this should have a beautiful "fat cap" or "rind" on it composed of the skin of the pig; however, in this case, it was trimmed off:
 
 
This is too bad, because one of the quintessential joys of pernil is the crispy, savory roasted skin, which protects the roast as it cooks and renders out nearly all of the fat. When the roast is finished, the skin is cut up and served along with the pernil as a special treat, but in this case, we missed out on that. Cry
 
In any case, the cutting and inserting of the adobo mojado INTO slits in the roast is definitely recommended; for best results, make sure you give this procedure a try.
 
I ended up letting the pork roast marinate in the pernil for two days, rather than three, and then roasted it in my enameled cast iron dutch oven to cook it. Had the weather been even halfway decent, I would have done this over charcoal, or even on the gas grill at low setting, but for the project I was doing, the oven worked just fine, since I was making Cubanos.
 
Here's how the pernil looked when I originally made it with a boneless shoulder roast, coming out of the oven and ready to be sliced for the sandwiches:
 
 
The roast was fork-tender and sliced very easily, almost TOO easily, if I would have been serving it for supper on its own ~ but considering my sandwich application, it was perfect. This picture shows just how good and tender this wonderful stuff is:
 
 
Whether you are making pernil for sandwiches, or on its own - in the oven, or over some fire and smoke - slicing, pulling, shredding or chunking the end result, I know you will be very, very happy with the explosion of caribbean flavours that you can find here. Give it a try!

Alright, onto the actual sandwiches themselves. As you can see from Daisy's recipe, and from the picture above, it's pretty easy stuff ~ there's nothing complicated about the ingredients or the method; it's easy as 1-2-3...

There are a lot of different options for the bread. I know that real, "authentic" Cubanos use "Cuban" bread, which must be eaten fresh. The first time I made Cubanos, I used Italian ciabatta bread, which worked well, and of course French or Italian loaves are perfectly fine. I found these types of rolls to be absolutely perfect:

They are made in Montana, and while I first picked them just because they were the right size and shape, I found out that they also have a great flavour and another quality that made them perfect for this - right in line with what I feel is the heart of the Cuban sandwich - more on that later....

There are probably a dozen or two "right" ways to do the Cubano - with peppers rather than pickles, with mustard rather than mayonnaise - who knows all the variations?

I'll tell you one thing: some country dude up in the middle of Montana doesn't know all the ins and outs, and so I followed Daisy's description exactly, since it seemed like she knows what she's talking about. I can tell you here and now: if you do as she says, you will be rewarded with some very fine Cubanos!

So, keeping that in mind, here we go ~ first, split the roll, if it isn't split already, and then lay down a layer of mayonnaise:

Then, add your chopped, sliced or shredded pernil:

The ones shown above are a bit chunky, which made the sandwich a little awkward, but boy, it sure tasted great! For the subsequent sandwiches, I chopped up the meat a little more, and it seemed to help with assembly.

Anyway, after the pernil, you simply lay down your ham:

This is street food, so go ahead and use any thick-sliced, deli-style ham that you want to use, or use some carvings off a whole ham. Or use thin-sliced - use whatever you want, but keep it simple, because you're making street food here!

Next comes the pickle:

I find these long, sandwich-type kosher dills to be perfect for this, but the round disks or "chips" work just fine, as well. Some people prefer sweet pickles, but that just ain't going to happen in the TasunkaWitko Cubano ~

Next, throw down some sliced Swiss cheese:

And then top that sandwich:

Are you hungry for it yet? I sure was by this point. If you want, you can enjoy your sandwich now, and it's going to be great! But, if you REALLY want to experience the Cubano, and want to see this thing fly out of the park and into immortality, then we're only halfway there ~ believe me, the wait is going to be worth it!

Wrap the sandwich up in foil:

And then repeat the above steps for all of your sandwiches, laying them out on a cookie sheet:

Once this is done, lay another cookie sheet down over the sandwiches, and put some weight on it to press them down just a little:

Trust me on this: a large cast-iron pan works perfectly for this, because it heats up while they are in the oven, and applies some wonderful toasting, crisping action from the top down.

Then set the whole thing into a pre-heated 350-degree oven and set your timer for 30 minutes.

Beware, Dear Reader - the aroma of the pernil and other ingredients, including the hot bread, will fill the whole house as the baking takes place. You may start wondering why you need to wait for them to heat up all the way through, while you have to sit there and smell that; you may even be tempted to remove them from the oven ~ Ignore those thoughts! Believe me, you will be rewarded for your patience!

Once the time is up, serve your sandwiches to your famished, salivating guests:

And then enjoy one yourself, savouring the compliments and the "Oh, WOW!"s, as everyone around you suddenly finds themselves on a street corner in Miami, soaking up the sun and listening to some salsa music ~

The cheese will be all melty, the ham and pernil will be moist, tender and flavourful, with meaty juices spreading out all over the sandwich ~ the pickles will be tangy, and, best of all, that wonderful bread will be toasty-crispy outside with just a slight crunch, and soft, tender and wonderful inside, just like it is advertised in the description above, without being chewy. The best of all possible worlds, and all you have to do is enjoy it.

I hope that this pictorial has covered all the angles, but if anyone has any questions at all, please feel free to ask for clarification. I can promise that this is something that will be enjoyed by everyone, so go ahead and give it a shot ~ let me know how it goes, and post a picture!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 February 2012 at 05:02
You knocked that one out of the ball park Ron....a great looking Cuban. I guess the only thing I'd do differently would be mustard instead of mayo, or perhaps a bit of both.

Fine looking Cubanos Thumbs Up
Go ahead...play with your food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 April 2012 at 09:06
We made this again last weekend, using a slightly modified adobo mojado, and the results were nothing short of spectacular.
 
For the most part, we followed the directions exactly, including pulverising the garlic first before adding other ingredients to the adobo mojado; either method can be used with good results, but doing it this way resulted in a much smoother, less-chunky adobo mojado, which might be important  depending on your application. We also made sure that we cut slits into the pork roast in order to get the adobo mojado inside, where it really did some good.
 
One important difference is that, rather than wine vinegar, we chose instead to use citrus juice as an acid, squeezing a fresh orange and grapefruit (as a substitute for naranja agria), for a very good combination that is highly recommended.
 
The bread/buns on this most recent attempt were different, and not quite as good; they didn't get that same crisp/crunchy outside and soft interior that we got the first time - however, results were still very good, and the pernil itself was the best yet in the 4 or 5 times that I have attempted this.
 
My friends, if you have not yet tried this, then you really must. It is truly wonderful!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 April 2012 at 10:31
Good afternoon Tas,
 
AWESOME POST ... My girlfriend Maria in Miami, used to make these thick, fat, and filling COO WANOS to die for ...
 
We are going to do these for the Labor Day Wkend in Spain, May 1st and 2nd and Cinco de Mayo ...
 
I shall let u know how they come out ...
Thanks for posting.
Margi.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 April 2012 at 11:19
Hi, Margi - you are in for some great things ~ If you have access to SEVILLE ORANGES, please consider using their juice for the adobo mojado, instead of the wine vinegar. I don't know how "authentic" it would be to do so, but it is my belief that this type of "sour" or "bitter" orange was the original intention for a marinade when making pernil, and seems to work very well with the other flavours in a Cubano ~
 
If you have any questions, please let me know, and I'll use the benefit of my previous attempts to hopefully provide a good answer. If you get the chance, take a few pictures, and of course please let us know how you like them!Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 April 2012 at 11:52
Tas,
 
Seville Oranges, of course ... Okay ... I do not know the history of naranja agria, what is called sour oranges .. however, Seville oranges are from Sevilla I believe, and naranja agria is a bottled item, I remember Maria used to use in Miami --- more research !  Okay, I shall write down the recipe tomorrow ... I think it shall be nice as we are off for this week of May holidays ... They are legal bank holidays here in Spain ... so it would be a couple of meals ... the Roast side of the dish and the Sandwiches !!!  Cool.
 
Kindest.
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sounds like a great plan for two days worth of wonderful meals!
 
please remember that this preparation is in three stages: a) the adobo mojado marinade/rub, b) the roasted pernil and c) the sandwiches. for best results, the pork roast (what we call the "picnic" or lower shoulder) should marinate for 3 days.
 
the naranja agria is beautiful stuff. i have only seen it a couple of times in bottled form:
 
 
but if you can get fresh oranges, i am willing to bet they would work better. i wish i had access to the bottled product above, but unfortunately it is no longer within my reach.Cry
 
(later that day)
 
I think I struck gold today!
 
I found this on Amazon:
 
 
 
the product description states that it is made from Seville oranges, so it is the real deal ~ perfect for what I am looking for. I've asked the beautiful Mrs. Tas to order 3 or 4 bottles of it, since it is so reasonably-priced, and we will see how it goes ~
 
good luck, and please let me know if you have questions!
 
ron
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Daikon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 April 2012 at 10:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 April 2012 at 16:30
Salami? Mayo? Why not Wonderbread?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Daikon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 April 2012 at 17:29
Hey, if that's the way they first did them in Tampa, who are you to say otherwise?

And nobody is suggesting anything like swapping in Wonderbread for Cuban bread, which is a crucial element by all accounts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 April 2012 at 09:53
awesome article, daikon - thanks for posting. i love that photo at the beginning! i knew there were folks in each camp regarding mayo v mustard, and i had also heard a little bit about salami, but i thought it was a jersey thing.
 
come to think of it, salami makes great sense, since the ham and the pernil have always seemd, to me, to be too closeley-related. i will try salami next time, in place of ham, and also might try another idea or two from here - but i think i will avoid "dr." morris! Shocked
 
i should also add - i just couldn't bring myself to vote, one over the other....
 
history says tampa, but geography says miami!
 
i guess the best solution, is to put both on - with mayo on the bottom and mustard on top....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 July 2012 at 08:58

some background, suggestions and tips, based on real life experience, from dls1 of smokingmeatforums. com:

Quote Cubanos are easily one of my favorite sandwiches, and I frequently make them at home as you do starting from scratch with the adobo mojado and pernil (or lechon asado). More often than not, I will smoke the meat to an IT of 130F-140F and finish in the stove's oven or a Dutch oven. I also commute frequently from Chicago to Miami and Tampa, ans am usually in both cities 2-3 times a month. As such, I've had an opportunity to try 100s of Cubanos over the years. A few observations:

- As with many things, the best Cubanos are always found in the small mom and pop places where they're often called "Sandwich Mixtos". In many cases these places focus only on the Cubano, and everything is fresh and made daily.

- Hardcore purists put only softened butter on the roll, and nothing else. Otherwise, it's plain yellow mustard. I've never had, or even seen, mayo on a Cubano though I suppose it could be OK.

- In Tampa, thinly sliced Genoa salami is always added to the sandwich, and it makes a pretty good combination. This is a result of the fact that, in the early days of Ybor City, the Italian immigrants pretty much equaled Cuban immigrants in number. Also, many places in Tampa don't press and weight the sandwich when warming unless you ask them to. I always request that they do it.

- As with any other great local sandwich, a key ingredient is a great local bread that's typically to find impossible elsewhere. Many groceries in South Florida offer frozen par baked Cubano rolls and, when possible, I buy several and put them in my carry on for the return flight to Chicago. As an alternative for those with a Jimmy John's sandwich shop in their area, they will sell there rolls individually and they are very similar to the Cubano rolls in South Florida. For those who have baking skill that exceed mine, you can make your own Cubano rolls. Just Google "Pan Aqua" for a recipe. As a side note, many Latin clubs in South Florida will offer a sandwich later in the evenings known as a "Medianoche" Essentially, it's a small version of a Cubano served on a soft roll similar to Challah.

- I use a sour orange mix rather than vinegar when making the mojado. On rare occasions, I can find sour oranges in South Florida, but it doesn't happen often. For commercial brands, El Mexicano is the best, but it's nearly impossible to find out of the area, and I've never seen it available online. Badia is a decent alternative and is available at many retail outlets and online at Amazon. Avoid Goya, it's crap. One look at the ingredient list will tell you it's all wrong. You can also make a mix  similar to sour orange. One easy substitute is 2 parts fresh orange juice, 1 part fresh lemon juice, and 1 part fresh lime juice. A better substitute, and the one I make when I'm out of El Mexicano, is 3/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice, 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice, and 1 teaspoon minced orange zest. Obviously, you can scale it up as desired. Mix well, let rest 3-4 hours, then strain.

After reading the thread and writing this reply, I know exactly what I'm having for dinner tonight. There's a nice little Cuban restaurant and bar nearby that makes an outstanding Cubano and that's where I'll be.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 August 2012 at 20:37
I got 10 lb roast seasoning in the fridge. Will be smoked tomorrow, and ready for sandwiches tomorrow night! Can't wait!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2013 at 10:17

Since I'll be making Cubanos on Superbowl Sunday, I am bringing this up to the top.

(Darko and Margi, you never told us: how did you like them when you prepared them? Were they good?)
 
I plan to incorporate a few things shown in the replies above, including:
 
When making the adobo mojado for the pernil, I will use naranja agria marinade- I've got some in the refrigerator that needs to be used up!
 
For the meat in the sandwich, I'll try salami instead of (or - more likely - along with) the ham.
 
I'll also use mustard and the softened butter that dls mentions in the post above, which seems to be more in line with tradition. Will I use mayonnaise, too? Personally, I think it would be too much, along with the butter and/or mustard, but I'm willing to bet that the Beautiful Mrs. Tas will want mayo to be on the sandwiches, so we'll see - maybe I'll combine them into some sort of spread in an effort to keep everyone happy.
 
Will I take it up a notch and make the pan aqua? That's a good question. I found a great-looking recipe here:
 
 
It seems authentic, and would make a great pictorial for the forum, so I might do it. But having said that, the rolls I originally used (photo above) were about as perfect as could be for this. They crisped up great on the outside when pressed and heated, and had a soft, tender, almost-but-not-quite-chewy inside; when you found something that is already perfect, do you mess with it?
 
Most likely, whether I make the bread or not will come down to available time.
 
I'll do a little more reading of the posts, links and articles above, but it looks like I'll essentially be combining the Miami, Tampa and Ybor City sandwices. This could be dangerous, but it should be delicious.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 February 2013 at 10:56
Tas,
 
Your Cubanitos look very tasty ...
 
Thanks once again for posting ...
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 February 2013 at 12:29
Please see edits in the preparation post above, reflecting some new techniques (using a mortar and pestle for the adobo mojado) and also the proper way to work the adobo into the meat.
 
I made these for Superbowl 2013, incorporating some things I've learned and also some suggestions as listed above. I used naranja agria as the acid for the marinade, and added salami to the repertoire of meats in the sandwich. Finally, rather than mayonnnaise, I tried a spread containing half-yellow-mustard and half-softened-butter.
 
I wasn't able to make the pan aqua for these sandwiches, but the stand-by rolls that I used worked beautifully as always. I almost forgot to take a photo of the finsihed product, but here's a quck snapshot of one just before it got devoured:
 
 
These latest Cubanos, with these changes as described above, were the best so far!
 
Do give them a try, you won't be sorry ~
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gonefishin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2013 at 14:21
    Okay, I'm going to have to get me a pork shoulder...this is just too much to take!

   HELP!!!!!
Enjoy The Food!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 February 2013 at 14:32
Dan - I'd love to see your take on these sandwiches ~ I can say without a doubt that I'm a believer!
 
As you can see, there is a little bit of controversy as to how to make one "properly." This keeps things interesting, of course, but also allows for personal preference to creep in, where some components are concerned ~ also, there is some room for variation in the pernil, especially where the acid component is concerned. The pernil really is the star of the sandwich, but the special texture that comes from the pressing, along with the myriad of flavours, is really an experience to be enjoyed. If you're up to the challenge, there is also a recipe for the pan aqua a couple of posts above yours that would surely make beautiful bread for this!
 
Now that you've said it, we expect you to do it, and photograph the results ~ see what you can come up with!Thumbs Up
 
Any questions, just ask, and I' bet we could find an answer for you ~
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