The Tongs – Custom Tongs
February 6, 2020
Neanderthal Fire Company
April 28, 2020

Cubanos From Chef

The best sandwich you have ever had in your life!
Years ago, I saw what would become one of my favourite all time movies. It's called Chef and is about a dad with a passion for food and how this passion connects him with his son and helps him find himself.

The movie is famous for a few different foods (which later spawned a TV show), but the one I always loved most was the Cubano. A Cubano is a type of Cuban sandwich and is a variation of a standard ham and cheese. Cubanos are super popular in Miami and once you have tried one for yourself, you can definitely understand why that is the case!

For this recipe, I am using a pretty similar version to that shown on Binging with Babish. If you have never seen it before, I recommend it. It's a fun show and he makes some amazing (and sometimes terrible) food.

One of the main ingredients to this sandwich is Mojo pork. It is a citrus and herb based flavour profile and when smoked is incredible. The Mojo utilises both a brine and a marinade, so make sure you do them both if you want the full effect.

Mojo Pork


The Brine

  • 4 cups orange juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • whole head of crushed garlic
  • 2-3 stems fresh oregano coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 stems fresh rosemary coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 stems fresh sage coarsely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Juice and zest of three oranges
  • Juice and zest of six limes
  • 2 Tbsp freshly chopped oregano
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup Chopped mint
  • Whole head of crushed garlic
  • 2 Tbsp freshly ground and toasted cumin


1. Begin by trimming your pork shoulder of the skin and all excess fat. For this recipe, I like to cut scores about 1-2 inches deep throughout the pork shoulder, so that both the brine and the marinade penetrate and get as much coverage as possible.

2. Mix all of your brine ingredients together and pour into a large ziplock bag before placing in your pork shoulder. The shoulder I used was quite large, so I cut it in half and did this process in two separate bags. Let the brine sit for 24 hours, flipping the bag every 6 hours or so, to ensure even coverage.

3. After the pork has brined, remove from bag and discard remaining brine. Lightly rinse pork and pat dry.

4. Using a food processor or blender, mix all of the marinade ingredients together until well combined and cover the pork with this for a minimum of 8-12 hours.

5. Set up your smoker for indirect cooking and smoke over cherry wood at about 225F until you hit an internal temperature of 165F for slicing or 203F if you want to shred the meat. Use an aluminium tray and baste the shoulder throughout the cook approximately every 90-120 minutes..

6. Once temp is met, pull from the smoker and let it sit in a foil tent for 45 minutes before slicing into 1/4-1/2 inch slices or pulling into bite sized chunks.


The Sandwich


Sandwich Ingredients

  • Half a dozen soft bread rolls
  • Yellow mustard
  • Swiss cheese slices
  • Your favourite pickles
  • Thick sliced ham
  • A bunch of butter

6. Cut your bread in half horizontally and lightly toast in a pan with butter until golden brown.

7. Lightly fry two slices of the Mojo Pork and 3-4 slices of thick cut ham until they get some colour.

8. Spread a layer of yellow mustard across the bottom bread layer, then pile with the Mojo, ham, two slices of the Swiss cheese and pickles.

9. Spread butter across the top of your bun and then place in a cast iron skillet on medium heat. Use a plate or another frying pan to press down on your sandwich, before flipping and doing the same on the other side. You know it is ready when the bread is golden and the cheese is melty.

10. Cut your sandwich on the diagonal and enjoy!

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