Cuban sandwiches have been consuming all of my thoughts. It all started with the homemade pickles I posted about on Friday. I had eaten them on a sandwich of sourdough bread with ham, Jarlsberg, and honey mustard. The sandwich was really good (these pickles take everything from good to great) but I kept envisioning something else and I finally realized that I was hankering to use them in a homemade Cuban sandwich.
As I have mentioned before when it comes to cooking (and my endless stream of cravings) I am a go big or go home kind of person. Buying ham and swiss cheese from the neighborhood bodega was not going to cut it in this situation – I knew this required me making everything from scratch starting with the pork.
Traditionally Cuban sandwiches are made with slow roasted pork. Sadly, working in corporate
10 hours a day does not allow me
enough time to make slow roasted pork on a regular basis. I knew I could achieve the same
flavors from a roasted pork loin. I
used Mark Bittman’s recipe for roasted pork loin with garlic and rosemary as my
jumping off point. I
slipped small slices of garlic into the pork before coating it in my rosemary,
garlic, cayenne, paprika rub and let it roast. It came out beautifully and tasted
even better - the skin was crackly and the meat tasted subtly of sweetly
roasted garlic with just a little bit of heat from the cayenne. It made the perfect dinner with a side
of roasted vegetables but it will be better encased in homemade Cuban
bread. Looking forward to
seeing my sandwich dreams come to fruition… America
Roast Pork with Garlic and Rosemary
Recipe adopted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
¼ teaspoon cayenne
¼ teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic + 1 clove garlic sliced thin
2 pound boneless pork roast (mine was a little less)
1 ½ cups stock, dry white wine, water (in a pinch!) or a combo of all 3 (which is what I did – you use what you have!)
1 tablespoon butter
Heat the oven to 450. Make little slits throughout the roast – in each slit slip a slice of garlic. Mix a liberal amount of salt and pepper with the rosemary, cayenne, smoked paprika, sugar, and garlic and rub it all over the roast. Put the meat in a roasting pan and put it in the oven. Roast, undisturbed, for 15 minutes.
Pour ½ cup of wine/stock over the roast and lower the temperature to 325. Continue to roast adding about ¼ cup of liquid every 15 minutes or so. If the liquid accumulates at the bottom of the pan, use it to baste; if not, add more.
Start checking the roast after an hour (it will probably take more like 1 ¼ hours). When it is done an instant read thermometer will read 145 -150 degrees – transfer to a warm platter. Add the remaining liquid from the platter to a pan and allow it to reduce a little. When it has reduced add the butter and stir. Slice the roast and serve with sauce. Save leftovers for sandwiches!