I mean, do you need to know more?
This is another recipe that involves slow cooked meat + onions, but don’t be fooled – this is tons different than the pull-apart bread mess we made a few weeks ago, promise. And, if it were that similar, would it be such a bad thing?
Jay’s a big fan of a Cuban sandwich, but I’ve never made them at home – there are a lot of components and for some reason we aren’t really sandwich-making types of people. Fork food and/or salads with the occasional pizza is more of our jam, for whatever reason. Probably because I prefer to use a fork for food and not get all messy, and bread is best covered in butter soaking up the remnants of said fork food. Which makes no sense.
BUT, we went to the market, as we do, and we grabbed a piece of pork shoulder, and went on and on with ideas for it, and landed on this: local bread, local pork, ham, pickles, cheese, onions. The pork is cooked IN mustard, then everything gets toasted and wrapped in foil so that it gets ooey gooey before you bite into it. It’s worth the slow cooker wait time, that’s for damn sure.
So we start the pork first – early in the day or even a day or two in advance, your choice. You’ll need a piece of pork shoulder and 2 onions. Then for seasoning it’s salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, hot paprika (or cayenne, just something spicy), and yellow mustard.
Slice the onions! Season the meat! Stick it all in the slow cooker. No liquid, you’ll get plenty of “sauce” from the pork and the onions. Let the pork cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4, depending on how much time you have.
When the meat is done, shred it with 2 forks so it combines with the onions and the juices. Taste here: yum. Add more salt if the pork seems bland at all! It should be slightly spicy and tangy from the mustard.
When you’re ready to make the sandwiches, turn the broiler to high and grab the rest of your ingredients. Bread cut lengthwise – crusty as you can find. Butter for the bread. Sliced swiss, sliced ham, bread and butter pickles. If you haaaaate b&b pickles you can use dill, but I think this is one of those times where sweet pickles make a huge difference. They counter the salty ham and cheese and spicy pork in the best possible way, I promise.
First, butter the bread.
Broil the bread for 3-5 minutes until the edges are dark but just barely burned – we want crispy bread to soak up all the pork/onion juices, in a good way.
Now, turn the heat on the oven to 425F and start to build the sandwiches. On the bottom it’s some cheese. Then ham and pickles.
Then pork/onions and more cheese.
Put the lid on the sandwich, then repeat to make as many sandwiches as you need. Now, wrap the sandwiches individually in tin foil, and place the wrapped sandwiches on a baking sheet. Stick then in the oven for 10 minutes, and YES.
That’s where the magic happens. The few minutes in the oven melt the cheese, heat all the ingredients, and soften the bread just a little bit. Eat these as soon as you can – they’re worth a burned tongue x5. Have a beer handy just in case, for your own safety.
Make these for the next time all you want is fun food. And the pork leftovers on rice with jalapeno ranch aren’t a bad thing at all, but don’t ask me how I know that.
- 1 piece pork shoulder, 2-3 pounds
- 2 onions, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika (or cayenne pepper)
- loaf bread, cut into 4-inch pieces and halved across the middle
- butter for spreading
- pork from above
- sliced ham, 1 piece per sandwich
- sliced Swiss cheese, 2 pieces per sandwich
- bread and butter pickles
- Place the pork in a slow cooker. Arrange the onions around the meat. Top with the mustard and all of the seasonings. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours until the pork is very tender. Shred the meat with 2 forks and set aside until ready to use.
- When you are ready to make the sandwiches, preheat the broiler to high and spread the bread with butter. Broil the bread butter-side up until toasted and golden. Remove from the oven and reduce the heat on the oven to 425F. Layer the bottom of each bread section with cheese, ham, pickles, some of the pork mixture, and more cheese. Top with bread and wrap in tin foil. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches. Bake the wrapped sandwiches for 10 minutes to melt the cheese, then unwrap and devour. Enjoy!
- 1. You'll have leftover pork - it's great on rice as leftovers!
- 2. If you hate bread and butter pickles, feel free to sub dill. The sweet pickles are GREAT in this recipe, though.
- 3. Feel free to make the pork a day or 2 in advance, then assemble the sandwiches right before you're ready to eat.