Sugar Dish Me

"if you can read, you can cook" -my momma

Cuban Pork Sandwiches!

with 9 comments

 This is the city that inspired the food craving that lasted for more than a year.


We don’t live far from Asheville… I’m not sure why we don’t drive there more often. Especially since there are amazing restaurants, delis, and cafes on every corner of this small city tucked into the North Carolina mountains. Most of them are independently run, have unique menus, and an overabundance of fresh ingredients. Over here all we have is an endless string of fast food restaurants, a Chinese buffet, and the most unauthentic, overpriced, blech version of an Italian restaurant that I have ever come across.

Dear Gas Prices,

Stop being absurd. People need to eat.

So anyway, my sister lives in Asheville, and whenever I go to visit she points me towards someplace she found that she knows to be mouth watering and delicious. Once we ate at a Thai place and shared a Pad Thai that knocked my socks off. Chad and I went to visit her last year and the three of us inhaled a pile of nachos that was both bottomless and crrrrazy good. Then there’s the Cuban restaurant.

Stephanie (that’s my sister) and I shared a late meal on the patio of Havana during one of my visits, and I have had a Cuban sandwich stuck in my head ever since. Chad and I tried to dine there the last time we went to Asheville, but there were 34,001 things going on downtown that weekend, and there was a wait. A loooong wait. We were starving, so I begrudgingly agreed to move on.

And still I craved the Cuban sandwich.

 The December issue of Family Circle magazine saved the day! Pork Shoulder in the slow cooker 5 ways! But the only way I really cared about was Cuban Pork.

The way the article was written was a little hard to follow. It was meant to be simple, but I had to keep referring to the original recipe (chipotle mango pulled pork) and then “omit this” and “add that”. In my rush to get my Cuban sandwich show on the road, I left out what appeared to be a very key ingredient… chicken broth. But as my luck would have it, this was better without the broth (I know this because a day or so later I also made the creamy pork and mushroom sauce from this article WITH the chicken broth. TOO. MUCH. LIQUID. And it was greasy).

 On the stove heat about a tablespoon of oil. Season all sides of a boneless skinless pork shoulder (I halved a 6 pound boston butt roast and it was on the bone) with salt and pepper and the brown each side until it’s crispy and golden. Mix tomato paste, onions, garlic, orange juice, lime juice, lime zest and chopped pickles in the crock pot (mixture will be thick) and then set the browned pork on top. Cook on high for 6 hours or low fror 8 hours.

 When the pork is done remove it from the crock pot and shred. Mine fell apart as I removed it. It was tender and moist and full of flavor. I only used a tiny bit of the liquid left in the crock pot. I just drizzled it over the shredded pork as I put together my sandwiches.

And with that the craving was satisfied.

Cuban Pork Sandwiches(modified from Family Circle, December 2011)


3 pounds boneless skinless pork shoulder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 can tomato paste

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (I juiced 2 limes)

zest of 1 lime

1 onion, thinly sliced

1/2 cup diced pickles

(additionally for the sandwiches you will need sliced ham, swiss cheese, yellow mustard, pickles, and thick slices of a soft bread… Cuban or Italian)

To Make

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Season the pork with the salt and pepper and brown all sides until crispy and golden. Remove it from the heat. In the slow cooker stir together the tomato paste, orange juice, lime juice, lime zest, onions, and diced pickles (mixture will be thick). Set the browned pork on top of the sauce, cover and slow cook on high for 6 hours or low for 8 hours. Remove the pork and shred. Add the sauce to taste. *For the sandwiches, spread mustard on the bread and layer with the sliced ham, pickles, shredded pork and swiss cheese. Grill the sandwiches (like you would a grilled cheese). Eat. Repeat.*


Written by Heather @ Sugar Dish Me

January 24, 2012 at 11:00 am

9 Responses

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  1. I absolutely adore Cuban sandwiches! Great post.


    January 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm

  2. Asheville, REPRESENT! 🙂

    Looks soo yummy!


    January 24, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    • It WAS yum! So sorry you weren’t here with us to eat it all up! But you should know that now you need to go scout out more restaurants.

      Heather Tullos

      January 25, 2012 at 7:26 am

  3. Nice post! I got a panini press for Christmas so I’ve gone bonkers making pressed sandwiches lately. Keep up the good work, good stuff!


    February 5, 2012 at 10:41 am

  4. Darling, I live in NY. A big kitchen is just not a reality. Lets just say I have a slightly large walk in closet to work in. Tough making it all work, but I’m just good at organizing all my toys. Just hope I don’t get buried alive in an avalanche of appliances on day!


    February 5, 2012 at 10:57 am

  5. […] loaded up the crockpot with a pile of thinly sliced sweet onions and part of a pork shoulder to get Cuban pork sandwiches under way. Then I made some corn chowder to stow away for a rainy day just because I could. And […]

  6. These look fab!!! Well done.

    Simply Tia

    April 22, 2012 at 12:37 am

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