I absolutely love Cuban sandwiches. In fact, whenever I go out to eat, if there is a Cuban sandwich on the menu I have to order it… EVERY TIME. That has presented a problem for me since relocating to Gulfport, Florida this winter as Tampa is where this sandwich was created and everyone has their own version of the sandwich on the menu. I guess there are worse problems to have. If you haven’t had a Cuban sandwich before here is what they are comprised of: sliced ham, sliced dill pickles, sliced Swiss cheese, yellow mustard, Cuban bread, and Lechon Asado (roasted pork) pressed using a griddle or panini press. So, for me to create this magical sandwich I had to first master this amazing Cuban pork dish Lechon Asado. You know me well enough by now I would make this delicious dish on my Big Green Egg. Now sit back, grab an ice cold Jai Alai IPA, and enjoy this post for Lechon Asado on the Big Green Egg.
Lechon Asado on the Big Green Egg
The day before you plan to cook the Cuban roasted pork you need to marinate the pork. For this cook I used a Snake River Farms Kurobuta Pork Collar instead of a pork shoulder. Kurobuta pork is to pork what Wagyu is to beef, incredibly well marbled and full of flavor! If you want to use a pork shoulder for this recipe, that is a great substitute. You’ll need to find a boneless piece to use.
For the marinade mix 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon orange zest, 3/4 cup fresh orange juice, 1/2 cup fresh lime juice, 1 cup cilantro (finely chopped), 1/4 cup lightly packed mint leaves (finely chopped), 8 garlic cloves (minced), 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, Kosher salt and pepper. Slice 1 yellow onion then add the pork, onion, and marinade to a container and in to the fridge overnight.
The next day take the pork out and separate that from the onions and marinade.
Bring the onions and the reserved marinade up to a boil then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. After that use a blender (or hand blender) to make a puree to be used for a sauce later and for basting the roasted pork as it cooks.
Set the Big Green Egg for raised direct cooking using the top tier of the EGGspander at 300°F. The flavor you get from direct grilling is second to none and raising the meat like this reduces flare ups and allows for greater control.
Place the meat on and cook until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. While the pork roast is cooking turn it every 30 minutes and baste with the reserved marinade. For this cook it took me 2.5 hours to get to 165°F.
Once the pork roast reaches an internal temperature of 165°F pull it from the Big Green Egg, wrap in foil, then place it back inside until the internal temperature measures 200°F or the temperature probe slides in and out of the pork roast with little to no resistance. For this cook it took me an additional 1 hour to get there.
After the pork is finished cooking on the Big Green Egg, pull and let rest 30 minutes to an hour until you shred the meat for sandwiches or for Cuban Black Beans and Rice.
You can use the Lechon Asado to make real Cuban sandwiches at home!
- 3 and ½ pounds boneless pork collar (or boneless pork shoulder)
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- ¾ cup fresh orange juice
- ½ cup fresh lime juice
- 1 cup cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup lightly packed mint leaves, chopped
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 onions, sliced
- Mix all of the marinade ingredients together except the pork and onions.
- Pour the marinade over the pork then add sliced onions. Place that in the fridge overnight.
- The next day take the pork out of the fridge and separate from the marinade.
- Take the reserved marinade and bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Blend this and use as a mop for the pork as it cooks.
- Preheat your @biggreenegg to 300° and use the EGGspander to setup a raised direct grilling environment.
- Place the pork on the top rack and grill turning every 30 minutes mopping with the marinade every time you turn.
- When pork measures 165° (this will take about 2.5 hours) pull and wrap with foil. Put back in the BGE and pull when temp is 200° (another 1-1.5 hours). Shred and enjoy!