Last week after my boyfriend made a roast ham (delicious in its own right), it dawned on me that we could use the leftover ham to make Cubans. We have wanted to try these for awhile now so we had numerous ideas of what ingredients would make a good Cuban. A basic Cuban uses Cuban bread, pork, ham, mustard, pickle, cheese and sometimes mayo. It is pressed and served warm. You can take many liberties when choosing each of these ingredients, which is evident when you try looking up a Cuban sandwich recipe on the Internet. So many variations that all claim to be authentic; I'm sure they are all varying degrees of delicious in any case.
- Bread: I had no idea where to get Cuban bread, so instead we stopped by Coco Rico in the Plateau and bought Portuguese buns. They are not a perfect match but the size and texture seemed like a suitable option that would press well. I'd try a different variety next time.
- Pork: The sandwich that I base all my comparisons had a warm carnitas-style braised pork, which was not saucy but very juicy. It would have been quite laborious to replicate this so we opted for a more easily sourced but no less flavourful option. We stopped by our local butcher, Tranzo, for super thin slices of their homemade porchetta. This stuff is awesome.
- Ham: The impetus for the whole endeavour was Marc's roasted ham.We sliced it as thinly as possible, and used a couple slices per sandwich. We wanted a 4:1 ratio of pork to ham so that the ham would not overwhelm all of the other flavours.
- Mustard: I opted to mix my own, consisting of 1 tbsp grain mustard, 1 tbsp Dijon, 1 tsp regular yellow mustard and 1 tbsp mayonnaise.
- Pickles: We used some readily available Polskie Ogórki Dill Pickles and sliced them thin.
- Cheese: While in the Plateau for Coco Rico, we stopped into La Vieille Europe and picked up some Emmenthal cheese. We wanted a relatively neutral taste, but something that still had it's own distinct quality.