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How to Create a Smoky Cubano Sandwich


For flavor fans, there is nearly no better combo than the complementary tastes in a Cubano sandwich. Complete with layers of roast pork, ham, soft swiss cheese, mustard and topped with tangy pickles, all the flavors and textures play in concert.

For an upgrade on the classic sandwich, try this version from Sammy Hagar, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who’s known for his riff on the iconic recipe. He takes his favorite sandwich to the next level by adding a smoky kick.

“The Cubano has everything I love in a sandwich: gooey melted cheese and a crispy, crunchy crust on the bread,” Hagar said. “It’s great to be able to get all the flavors in each bite. It has pickles and mustard that cut through the rich cheese and pork. When you splash a little Tabasco on it, you get the last perfect ingredients – flavor and heat.”

Find his signature sandwich at Sammy’s Beach Bar & Grill at Las Vegas, Cleveland, Maui and Honolulu airports operated by HMSHost, or try creating Sammy’s Cubano Sandwich at home with the recipe below.

To find even more inspiration, we’re headed to Cubano Wars on March 10th in Miami to help judge the Best Cubano Sandwich Awards. We can’t wait to see (and taste) how the best of the best flavor their Cubanos.

Sammy’s Cubano Sandwich

Cook time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Mojo Marinade:
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup cilantro, minced
¾ cup orange juice
½ cup fresh squeezed lime juice
3 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
2 teaspoons cumin, ground
kosher salt, to taste
coarse black pepper, to taste

3 ½ pounds pork shoulder or boneless pork butt
2 teaspoons TABASCO® Chipotle Sauce
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
6 pieces Cuban bread or baguette (6 inches each), cut lengthwise
8 ounces deli ham, thinly sliced
½ pound swiss cheese, thinly sliced
24 dill pickle chips
4 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 cup unsalted butter
4 tablespoons reserved Mojo Marinade


To make Mojo Marinade: In bowl, whisk olive oil, cilantro, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper until incorporated. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste. Reserve 4 tablespoons marinade in separate bowl, cover and set aside in refrigerator.

Place pork in large zip-top bag. Cover with Mojo Marinade and close bag. Place in roasting pan and refrigerate overnight.

Heat oven to 450 F.

Remove pork and marinade from bag and place in roasting pan. Cover with foil and cook in oven 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, reduce heat to 375 F, remove foil and cook 2 hours until internal temperature reaches 175 F and pork is fork tender at thickest part.

Remove from oven and let rest 20 minutes before slicing.

In small bowl, mix chipotle sauce and mayonnaise until fully incorporated.

Spread mixture on bottom bread slice.

On top bread slice, place two slices deli ham, 3-4 ounces roasted pork, two slices swiss cheese, 4-6 pickles and yellow mustard.

Over medium-high heat, butter flat surface of griddle and add reserved Mojo Marinade while butter is melting.

Place assembled sandwiches on griddle, pressing grill weight or heavy skillet on top of sandwiches.

Cook until bottoms are golden brown and cheese is melted.

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