When I first heard of the movie “Chef,” I was hesitant to watch it. Contrary to popular belief, just because you are a chef doesn’t mean you want to watch all the movies and TV shows about other chefs. “Top Chef” in the early years? Sure. “Chef’s Table” on Netflix? Why not. But a movie about a chef who finds his path by opening a food truck? Mmmm…Well, despite my hesitation, I somehow found myself watching the movie. I’ll spare you my opinions on the story, but one thing I did take away from it was how to make a real Cuban sandwich. Luckily, I found the recipe online was able to recreate the mouth watering sandwich. Here is the Cuban sandwich from the movie “Chef”!
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup lightly packed cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp finely grated orange zest
- ¾ cup fresh orange juice
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup lightly packed mint leaves, finely chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp minced oregano
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 3½ lb boneless pork shoulder, in one piece
- 6 oz thinly sliced boiled ham
- Softened butter, for brushing
- Six 6-inch-long soft baguettes or heros, split lengthwise
- Yellow mustard, for brushing
- ¾ lb thinly sliced Mojo-Marinated Pork Shoulder (recipe follows)
- ½ lb thinly sliced Swiss cheese
- 3 half-sour dill pickles, thinly sliced lengthwise
For complete recipe click here
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
I’ve tried quite a few Cubanos from various restaurants and delis, only to walk away with disappoint. Each one fell short of what I had in mind of what a real Cuban sandwich should be. My choices were to either go to Florida or to make one myself. With Roy Choi’s recipe from “Chef” available online, I knew I had to prepare it myself.
The recipe starts by marinating the pork in a mojo marinade. The pork is the main ingredient of the sandwich and should thus be tender and of course, flavorful. To achieve this, Choi marinades the meat in a mojo marinade, which consists of citrus, fresh herbs and spices. It is then roasted for several hours until fall apart tender. Since I was only preparing this for two, I decided to use pork tenderloin instead of pork shoulder. The shoulder would, in my opinion, be much more tender and flavorful, but the tenderloin is a good second choice.
The pork alone tastes amazing, but now it’s time to turn it into a sandwich. In the movie, the chef butters the bread and finishes it in a panini press, but since I don’t own one, I decided to use my grill pan. Place the assembled sandwiches on the pan and place a weight on top (I used another cast iron pan on top). Press gently and cook until grill marks appear. Flip and repeat. Remove from pan and devour immediately!
No matter where you go, the ingredients for a Cuban sandwich will always be the same: pork, pickles, cheese and ham. What makes this sandwich different? Or should I say, better? The juicy mojo pork! The tender goodness makes a world of difference. It may not look like much this Cuban sandwich is the best that I have tried!
Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.