A Cuban Sandwich Worthy of Super Bowl Contention

For anyone hosting a Super Bowl party or who has a hungry horde at home ready to feast on tasty treats Sunday leading up to the big game – try offering this marinated Cuban sandwich on your menu as a fun and interesting alternative to the standard football fare.

This pork-based recipe is a blast to put together and in terms of prep, really there is very little. It’s a slow cooker recipe, and takes about five hours for the meat to tenderize and marinate through. After that it’s easy to render the pulled pork and serve up the accompanying side ingredients to make these Cubano delicacies. Simply set out the fixings on a serving table and folks can put their own together at their convenience throughout what will be a long day of football watching. Whether for the Philadelphia Eagles or New England Patriots, we can all agree this Cuban sandwich will satisfy a hungry appetite.

MARINATED CUBAN PORK SANDWICH

Ingredients: 4-6 pound Boston butt pork roast (or boneless pork shoulder); 3 tablespoons olive oil; 1 teaspoon black pepper; 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning; 1 teaspoon garlic powder; 1 teaspoon onion powder; 1 sweet onion (sliced); 1 lime; 1 package Campbell’s Slow Cooker Hawaiian Luau Sauce; 1 pound thick cut hickory bacon (preferably pepper bacon); 16 ounce bottle of Mt. Olive hamburger dill chips; 16 ounces sliced swiss cheese; 1 jar Dijon mustard; 2 packages sourdough sandwich rolls.

This recipe originally called for a pork shoulder roast, but for a barbecue-type recipe that needs to be pull apart tender, I’m a big fan of using a Boston butt pork roast instead, and it’s cheaper. This cut comes from high on the hog, above the shoulder-blade. There is tons of marbling in it from all the muscle groups and gobs of connective tissue. That is tough stuff until it’s slow cooked, and then it melts away and naturally bastes the meat in all sorts of savory juices.

Take the Boston butt and trim excess fat. There often is a thick layer on the bottom that can easily be sliced away. Heat a large skillet with three tablespoons olive oil over medium heat; brown each side of the Boston butt, 2 minutes per side.

While roast is browning place spices into a small bowl and combine. Once the Boston butt is browned, sprinkle all sides with spice mixture and place into slow cooker.

Peel and roughly cut the onion into quarters, spreading the pieces around inside the slow cooker; open the Campbell’s Hawaiian Luau Sauce and pour atop the Boston butt; squeeze half of a lime into the slow cooker; set temperature on high and cook for five hours.

With around 30 minutes of cooking time left, take out the pound of bacon and cut in half, then cook all in a pan over medium heat; set aside for later use.

Place roast on cutting board after cooking. The meat should be tender enough to shred using two forks being pulled in opposite directions; place rendered meat in a serving dish and cover to keep warm.

To make a Cuban sandwich, take one of the sourdough rolls, place four or five pickles on the bottom layer; add a heaping serving of pork; top that with two half pieces of bacon and finish with a slice of Swiss cheese. Spread Dijon mustard on the top portion of the roll and you are all set.

My recommendation would be to then place the full sandwich into a panini grill or a George Foreman grill and press or 90 seconds. If this is not available, open the sandwich in a toaster oven or conventional oven with the bacon and Swiss on the top half of the roll and pork on the other half and toast until the cheese has melted.

Depending on serving size, this should provide near 16 sandwiches.

Enjoy the game everyone!

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