These easy-to-make pickled shallots will soon be your secret ingredient to take your Leftover Pulled Pork Cubano Sandwich or any sandwich to a whole new level.
A lifetime ago, I used to live in Miami. Those were four crazy and terrific years of my life. I worked 60-hour work weeks at an advertising agency, straight out of college. I had no family out there so I would travel and explore on my own or with my friends at work.
The great thing about Miami is that this city is a one-stop-shop where you can experience a dozen different cultures at your leisure. From stone crabs to palomilla steak, conch fritters to arroz con pollo – I happily sampled it all.
The ad agency I worked for was near Little Havana. And with many Cubans working alongside with me, I received an authentic Cuban food education during my four years in Florida. When you work 60-hours a week, you are eating most of your meals at work!
The gas station down the street would make fabulous Cubano sandwiches any time you craved one. Further down the street, you could see folks sitting in cafe’s enjoying their Cuban coffee and pastries. It really felt like I was working in another part of the world.
Watching the movie “Chef” brought it all back to me, well, at least the food part. Last summer, my family and I had the opportunity to visit Miami and the Keys and I jumped at the chance to visit my favorite eateries and visit with friends.
Between the movie “Chef” and our trip to Miami, my husband went on his quest to find the BEST Cubanos.
What is a Cubano?
The Cubano sandwich, also lovingly called “the Cubano,” is a pretty simple sandwich. Chunks of slow roast pork roast is layered in with ham, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles in a hoagie style bread. The sandwich is then pressed or flattened on a hot griddle or using a sandwich press.
You can slow roast your pork shoulder in the oven, using the wonderful combination of oranges and limes in Chef Roy Choi’s Cubano recipe, the recipe featured in the movie, “Chef.” Or you can use leftover pulled pork (minus the barbecue sauce) and use that for your Cubano.
I’ve used both Chef Roy’s recipe and leftover pulled pork in my Cubano and both are incredibly delicious!
How to make pickled shallots
But, I needed to add my own twist and kick up the flavor a bit. I decided to make some Pickled Shallots to go with my leftover pulled pork Cubanos. The pickled shallots on their own are pretty potent. But, used in this sandwich (or any other hearty sandwich) and you have something special.
Making the pickled shallots is super easy. If you are impatient, you can enjoy them after 24-hours. But, I preferred their flavor after a week of pickling. Super simply, slice the shallots and place them in a jar. Then combine apple cider vinegar, sugar and kosher salt in a sauce pan and heat until the sugar and salt dissolve.
Once dissolved, pour the hot vinegar mixture over the shallots and let the vinegar work its magic.
Final thoughts on leftover pulled pork Cubano Sandwiches
These Cubanos took me back to my life before my husband and kids. I was missing the fried plantains, but a sangria was easy enough to make and enjoy. What a thrill it was to go back and visit my friends in Miami last summer.
Although I didn’t miss that humidity, Miami is such a fun city to visit. From South Beach to the restaurants, the architecture and museums… there is so much to see and explore and EAT!
- 6 oz shallots, (approximately 3)
- 1 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 soft baguette
- 5 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 slices of ham
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 lb cooked pork roast
- 4 slices of Swiss cheese
- 2 large dill pickles, thinly sliced
- 2 tsp mayonnaise
- NOTE: Pickled Shallots need to prepared 3-7 days prior to serving.
- Peel and slice shallots into thin rounds and transfer to an 8-ounce jar.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat add vinegar, sugar and salt.
- Stir until everything is dissolved and vinegar is just begins to boil.
- Carefully pour hot vinegar into the jar with the shallots.
- Seal the jar and let it rest until it reaches room temperature, then store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Pickled shallots will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.
- You can also can the shallots using hot water: click here for canning instructions.
- To prepare the Cubano sandwiches, slice baguette in half lengthwise and brush with olive oil.
- Toast the bread, open face down, on a griddle pan or regular pan over medium heat until just barely golden, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Brown ham in the same pan for approximately 1 minuter per side then remove from heat.
- Spread dijon mustard onto the bottom slices of the baguettes then add browned ham.
- Top ham with chunks of pork roast and top with Swiss cheese.
- Place pickles and pickled shallots over the cheese.
- Spread mayonnaise over the top slices of the baguettes and cover sandwich.
- Place the top piece of baguette over the rest of the sandwich.
- Brush your hot griddle pan or sandwich press with olive oil.
- Place sandwich onto the hot oiled pan and press down with a Cast-Iron Grill Press (or another heavy pan) until toasted, about 3-5 minutes.
- Flip sandwich over and press again until toasted and cheese has melted, another 3-5 minutes.
- Repeat the pressing with the second sandwich and serve immediately.
Don't eat pork? Use roast chicken and turkey-based ham instead.
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Serving Size:1 sandwich
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 1670 Total Fat: 60g Saturated Fat: 20g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 32g Cholesterol: 192mg Sodium: 4975mg Carbohydrates: 189g Fiber: 11g Sugar: 25g Protein: 96g