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Feb 14, 2014 07:52 AM

Cubano question

The first Cuban I ever had just blew my mind. The roasted pork was so juicy it amazed me. They used bread from Florida and it was also perfect. Went home and made my own and it turned out pretty good for a first attempt. Had another at a different place and it was good, bread a little lacking and meat not as juicy. Went back to the original place and it wasn't as good either, and my wife didn't think so either. (this is all over a period of a year or so).
So back to me. I am trying again and this time I am thinking about brining even though I haven't heard anyone talk of brining pork for Cubans. Also since I have made mine it has become a lot more accepted by the masses to just go to 145 on pork. I haven't done that yet, how does it do when you go to shred or pull at that temp? Maybe cook it a little lower and slower? Last time I did the oven at 325. I just made holes in the pork and forced several garlic cloves in there, rubbed in an adobo sauce on there an baked. Would appreciate any tips! Was going to brine overnight in a gallon of water, cup of salt, and a little sugar and garlic powder

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  1. If you are using a pork shoulder or butt roast your meat will be tough at 145. You need to roast slow and low until you reach an internal temp of about 190. That way all of the connective tissue is able to melt and it will pull apart nicely.

    If you are using a loin and the pork will be sliced, I would pull it out at about 135 and let it rest before slicing it thin.

    I have had Cubanos done both ways. I personally prefer the pork shoulder but that is just a preference.

    1. Yeah, I was kinda confused about that. So what if I cook it like I was going to smoke it, just without the smoke? The recipe I had said take it to 160, which really didn't make since for pulling or shredding. Thanks for the reply.

      1 Reply
      1. re: kendunn

        I would think that would be fine. I do a pork shoulder in a covered roasting pan in my oven at about 225-250 until it gets to 190. It takes a few hours.

      2. I haven't made this but I've been served it at friends and it was delicious:

        3 Replies
        1. re: meatn3

          Not too far off from what I had in mind, think I will cover the pork in a brine and then use the rub I had before because it has turmeric in there and thats the flavor I love in it. Thanks for input, add all these up to get the perfect Cuban, then I will post!

          1. re: meatn3

            this is what you need to make a traditional Cuban sandwich.

            (I made a huge crockpot full of this for New Years' Eve -- it was delicious -- and having grown up with Cuban sandwiches, it's the real thing)

            1. My niece's boyfriend is a chef. When he cooks for the family, they often request his take on the Cubano, with pork tenderloin straight from the grill at about 145.

              IMHO, best ever.

              1. I think a lot of people call a pork sammy with swiss and mustard a Cuban, but I want the real deal with turmeric and garlic pulled pork and a layer of ham. I am thinking my brine will have a lime in there now and forget the sugar and save the garlic for roasting. The first one I had was imprinted with a Palmetto leaf, thats the real deal, about the most savory food I have ever eaten.

                3 Replies
                1. re: kendunn

                  I grew up in the Tampa bay area, which has a distinctively different style Cuban that includes salami due to the Italian influence in Ybor back in the day. I've never encountered turmeric in the roast pork. Not in Tampa nor in Miami.
                  Sounds tasty though!

                  1. re: meatn3

                    This is the rub I was using, and the Cuban gentleman at first place I had one told me about the turmeric. Just adds to the mustard flavor. I will skip the salt since I am adding it to the brine this time.
                    6 Tablespoons Salt
                    6 Tablespoons Granulated Garlic
                    4 Tablespoons Oregano
                    2 Tablespoons Black Pepper
                    2 Tablespoons Turmeric
                    2 Tablespoons Onion Powder

                    1. re: meatn3

                      I agree -- no turmeric -- the link you posted is the real deal lechon asado.