Cuban sandwich lovers will rejoice after their first bite of this grilled version featuring smoked pork loin.
To whoever invented the Cuban sandwich: I am forever grateful. No visit to my parents’ Florida home would be complete without at least one of these miraculous creations.
There is something truly remarkable about the way that six ingredients—roast pork, ham, pickles, Swiss cheese, yellow mustard, and Cuban bread— come together in a perfect union of dynamic flavors. The bread is a big part of what makes a Cuban sandwich (a.k.a. Cubano) so special. Cuban bread is similar to a French baguette but with sugar and butter (or lard) in the dough, which make the bread softer, sweeter, and richer tasting.
My trips to the sunshine state are limited, so I recently turned to the grill in search of a fix for my Cuban sandwich habit. While not 100% authentic, using smoked pork loin instead of roast pork resulted in a sandwich that is even more addictive!
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Serve with: A mojito
Makes:2 big sandwiches
- 1 pork loin filet (pork tenderloin) Hormel or Smithfield
- 2 8-inch sections of Cuban bread or French baguette
- yellow mustard
- 6 slices Swiss cheese
- ½ pound sliced ham
- 4 kosher dill pickle sandwich slices such as those from Claussen
These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page
- Fire up. Prepare a grill for indirect cooking by placing a chimney full of pre-heated charcoal briquets on one side of the grill’s charcoal grate in order to create direct and indirect cooking zones. Adjust the grill vents to bring the temperature to about 225°F on the indirect side. Add 2 to 3 chunks of your favorite smoking wood to the charcoal for flavor. On a gas grill, adjust the temperature knobs so that one half of the grill is off and the other half is heated enough to maintain a temperature of approximately 225°F on the indirect side.
- Cook. Place the pork loin filet on the indirect side of the grill, positioning the vent directly above it in order to force the smoke over and around the meat. Cook the filet until it reaches and internal temperature of 145°F, approximately 2 hours. Remove the pork loin filet from the grill and adjust the grill temperature for high heat cooking (Warp 10), approximately 450°F.
- Prep. Cut the smoked pork loin filet into ¼-inch slices. Split the bread horizontally. Begin assembling the Cuban sandwiches by laying the bread out cut side up. Spread yellow mustard on the top halves of the bread. Cut the Swiss cheese slices in half, and add three half-slices of cheese to each half of bread. Add slices of smoked pork loin filet to both bottom halves of bread. Top the pork slices with sliced ham and pickles. Crown the sandwiches with the top halves of bread.
- Loosely wrap the sandwiches with foil. Press the tops of the sandwiches with your hands to flatten them.
- Cook again. Place the foil wrapped sandwiches on the hot side of the grill and top with a brick or cast iron skillet. Grill the sandwiches until the bread is crispy, approximately 4 minutes per side.
- Serve. Gently remove the sandwiches from the foil and cut in half. Serve immediately.