Jose Garces’ Cuban Sandwich

This recipe was taken with permission from The Latin Road Home 



For the Roast Pork:

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground mustard
  • 2 pounds pork shoulder, tied in an even roll
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground mace (I couldn’t find mace so I used ground allspice)
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon smoked sweet paprika (I couldn’t find smoked sweet paprika so I used just sweet paprika)

For the Sandwich:

  • 4 (6-inch) light, crisp-crusted bakery rolls
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 12 ounces best-quality domestic ham (unglazed), thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces Swiss or Gruyére cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 large dill pickle, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. To cure the pork, combine 2 tablespoons of the salt with the sugar and ground mustard. Rub the mixture all over the meat, cover, and set it in the refrigerator to cure for 6 hours.
  2. Place a rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 325°F.
  3. To roast the pork, rinse it under cold running water to remove the seasoning. Pat dry with paper towels. Combine the Dijon mustard, mace, black pepper, paprika, and the remaining 1 tablespoon salt. Rub the mixture all over the meat. Set pork in a roasting pan, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and cook until the internal temperature reaches 175°F, about 45 minutes (mine took more like 90 minutes). Allow the meat to cool completely before slicing.
  4. To make the sandwiches, heat a sandwich press or griddle (I made mine in a cast iron skillet) to medium-high. Split the bread lengthwise and pull it open. Spread the mustard on 1 side of each roll and layer on the roast pork, ham, cheese, and pickles.
  5. Spread the butter all over the outside of the sandwiches, and griddle until the cheese is melted and the meats are warmed throughout, 3 to 4 minutes. (Alternatively, wrap the sandwich in foil and toast in a 350°F oven for 5 to 7 minutes.) Slice each in half on the diagonal and serve.