Traditionally served in Cuba, these sandwiches offer a fantastic flavor. They are similar to pork barbeque sandwiches, just without the smoker. Of course the barbeque will add a smoky flavor but not as much as a smoker, but some smokiness is better than none, so use a chargrill if you have one. The coleslaw is an optional addition because in Cuba these are more likely to be served with slices of deli ham, but the combination of coleslaw with the cheese, pork and pickles is too good to miss out on. Crisp the buns on the barbeque then smear butter over them and add the still-warm pork, cheese, coleslaw and pickles, for a wonderful, mouthwatering treat.
This recipe is very simple and you just need a pork loin weighing a couple of pounds. The pork is marinated before being barbequed, and the marinade mixture is made with onion, garlic and oregano, as well as a trio of citrus flavors in the form of lemon, lime and orange juices. Give this about 6 hours to soak into the pork loin properly. It will add lots of flavor. Some cuts of beef need to be marinated to tenderize them. Pork does not need to be tenderized but it will soak up plenty of incredible flavor while you marinate it, which is why this recipe works so nicely.
More about Pork Loin
Pork loin is really popular in the US and the UK, and this cut of meat comes from a pig, from the tissue along the top of the ribcage. It is often cut into bone-in chops or boneless steaks before being baked, fried or grilled. You can also cure it to make bacon, and in the UK most of the bacon sold is ‘back bacon’ which comes from this cut of the pig. In the US, back bacon is known as ‘Canadian bacon’ because it was introduced into Canada by the British settlers.
A pork loin joint is a roast cut from the pig’s loin and this can be bone-in, meaning it has the loin ribs attached, or boneless, which means the butcher will tie it up with string to stop it falling apart. Sometimes pork rind is added to the fat side of this joint to make the nice crispy crackling which you would otherwise not get on the loin. This is a delicious yet economical cut of meat which makes the most wonderful meal for the whole family. If you do not want to eat a whole roast though, you might be interested in learning how to make pork loin sandwiches, because these make the most fantastic breakfast, lunch or dinner, or you can serve them as a snack.
Adapting these Pork Sandwiches
Add your favorite kind of coleslaw, either store-bought or homemade, and dill pickles or your favorite kind of pickles. If you really like pickles, add more. The Swiss cheese melts slightly between the meat and bread when you add it. Feel free to use Fontina, Provolone or another kind if you prefer, or even Cheddar if you want a stronger cheese flavor. You can experiment with this dish to your heart’s content and, if you have some pork left over, it is lovely served cold with a salad (perhaps some lettuce leaves, tomato, cucumber, cheese cubes, coleslaw and pickled beets) the following day.
- 2 lbs pork loin roast
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- ½ cup orange juice
- ½ cup lemonade
- 2 tablespoons oregano
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 8 French rolls
- 1 cup coleslaw
- ½ cup butter
- 8 slices Swiss cheese
- 24 pickle slices
- Mix the olive oil with the garlic, oregano, lime juice, lemonade, onion, and orange juice.
- Pour this mixture over the meat and turn to coat well.
- Refrigerate for 6 hours.
- Take the pork out of the refrigerator and preheat the barbeque.
- Let the pork come to room temperature.
- Season the pork with salt and pepper and cook it for 10 minutes over a direct heat, turning to brown the whole surface.
- Move it to a cooler part of the barbeque and cook for about 40 minutes more or until the internal temperature is 155 degrees F.
- Take the pork off the barbeque and let it rest for 10 minutes.
- Cut the rolls open and butter them.
- Toast them cut side down on the barbeque for a minute or until slightly crisp.
- Carve the meat against the grain as thin as you can.
- Assemble the sandwiches using the cheese then the pork, coleslaw, and finally add the pickles on top.
- Serve immediately, while the pork is still warm.
Cuban sandwiches are something any pork fan absolutely must try. Life is too short not to make this fabulous dish! Juicy barbequed pork slices are teamed with Swiss cheese, coleslaw and pickles to make these mouthwatering sandwiches and they are best served while the meat is still warm from the barbeque. You can see from the picture how generously filled these sandwiches are, so serve one as a snack or two as a filling meal. Feel free to adapt the filling. All the components are optional, but you might wish to include more salad in the form of lettuce or tomato slices, or swap the cheese for another kind. The pickles can also be omitted if you prefer. This is one of the best ever Cuban recipes, and really showcases the juicy appeal of pork loin roast.
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