Cuban pressed sandwich

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“You better be hungry,” he says, holding back the door so I can leave the cold and the rest of the week behind me.

“I am. And you better be serving me something more than a sandwich,” I reply, cracking open a couple of beers.

“Nope,” he chortles. “But it’s a Cuban Pressed Sandwich. It’s good.”

“Still a sandwich,” I sigh. “What’s in it?

“Ham and cheese, basically.”

He smiles. It’s one of those knowing looks. I’ve seen it before. “Your world is about to be rocked,” it screams.

A couple of hours pass and my world is rocked. I can’t move. Ate too much. Way too much! And, wow, that taste lingering on my palette and that feeling of joy in my gut…

And yet all I ate was a sandwich…

But jeez… what a sandwich.



  • 1 large dill pickle
  • 1 large shallot
  • Around 20 small cornichons (small gherkins)

Chipotle Aioli

  • 2 x 7oz cans of chipotle peppers
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 lime
  • 1Tbs minced garlic
  • Around 3 Tbs cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 quart vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the sandwich

  • 1 pork shoulder
  • Ham, sliced (good quality)
  • Gruyere cheese
  • A handful of crusty Italian-style loaves (you want the light, fluffy kind with a good crust)
  • A little mustard vinaigrette (olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, that sort of thing)


  • Roasting dish
  • Trivet or rack
  • Sandwich press
  • Baking tray
  • Food processor


Roasting the pork shoulder

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Season the pork shoulder well and place on a rack in a heavy-bottomed roasting or casserole dish.
  3. Roast for 30 minutes or so and then turn the heat down and cook for a further couple of hours, maybe 3 or 4 depending on your oven and your piece of pork.
  4. Baste it from time to time in the juices that collect in the bottom, and by all means add any additional flavors you consider appropriate (orange juice, sugar or molasses, a handful of spice, that sort of thing).

Preparing the relish

  1. Chop the pickles, cornichons and shallot. Add a little of the cornichon brine and mix together well. Set aside.

Preparing the aioli

  1. Remove the rind from the lime and quarter the flesh. Blend it with the garlic and the peppers in the food processor until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Add the eggs.
  3. With the food processor running, slowly add the vegetable oil.
  4. Finally, add the cilantro and season to taste.

Making the sandwich

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350°F.
  2. To prepare the sandwich, cut the bread lengthways.
  3. Spread a generous amount of the aioli on each half.
  4. Next, add a generous layer of the relish.
  5. On one side, lay down a handful of slices of the ham and on the other, slices of the pork shoulder.
  6. Cover both sides with slices of Gruyere cheese.
  7. Place the open sandwich on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook until the cheese has melted, but be sure not to burn it.
  8. Close the sandwich and brush with a little mustard vinaigrette and place it on a sandwich press.
  9. Remove when you consider it ready to devour.
Re: Cuban pressed sandwich

I love a great cuban sandwich and this looks like one I could run away from home with.

A simple variation is to use a sandwich press or George Forman Grill to create a really nice crisp outside and flattened sandwich. Trust me they are really good when the are cooked this way.

Re: Cuban pressed sandwich

The chipotle aioli alone is a winner. It is so delish that could spread that on bread and be very very happy!

Re: Cuban pressed sandwich

We made these sandwiches for a party of 15 last night and they were a HUGE hit.

To make the pork shoulder I marinated it for about an hour in a mixture of rice wine vinegar, brown sugar and cumin powder. I then cooked it in on the rotisserie. The pork along was outstanding. The sandwich was simply over and above.

It took a while to properly prepare, but the effort payed off in spades.

I highly recommend this recipe for those who want to take the time to do it right.

Re: Cuban pressed sandwich

Re: Cuban pressed sandwich

Ditto with Al Dente’s comment! The sauce alone is sooo delicious—perfectly spicy with the chipotle blending with the garlic and lime so well! Used it this week on sandwiches, eggs, potatoes, bagels, fish and tofu and it made everything much, much better. Can’t wait to try my hand at the whole recipe soon!! Thanks, Great Grub!