Roast pork shoulder Cuban rolls

Ashbell McElveen's garlicky roast pork cubanos come oozing with Swiss cheese
By Ashbell McElveen
Roast pork shoulder Cuban rolls
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 3.4166666666666665 hours 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 24 hrs chilling
  • Effort: medium



  • 7 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed fresh oregano
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 5 tsp salt, (1 tsp for every 450g of meat)
  • 2.25 kg pork shoulder, picnic cut (with fat)

For the Cubanos:

  • 200 g butter, softened
  • 2 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 tsp thyme, leaves only
  • 2 Italian bread, such as ciabatta
  • 8 slices swiss cheese
  • 340g jar of whole sour dill pickles, sliced

Tips and Suggestions

If a picnic cut is not available, just buy a pork shoulder; it won't have the fat, so you will miss out on the crunchy cueritos, but it will still taste delicious.


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

2. Place the crushed garlic in a small bowl and mix in the pepper, oregano, olive oil and salt. Mix together well.

3. Wash the pork and pat dry. Using a sharp knife, make very deep slits all over the meat, then pour over the garlic oil, spreading it with your hands to coat and rubbing it into the slits.

4. Wrap the oiled pork in cling film and chill in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

5. Unwrap the pork and place in a deep roasting pan with the fat-side up. The meat will release a lot of fat, so the pan must be deep enough to catch it. The fat on the top of the shoulder will form crunchy 'cueritos' (crackling) as the meat cooks. Do NOT cover with foil.

6. Bake the pork in the preheated oven for about 3 hours (1 hour 20 minutes per kilogram), without turning. Let it cook for a little longer if the cueritos are not crunchy. If you are using a meat thermometer, the pork will be ready when it reaches 85C.

7. To make the cubanos, place the butter, garlic and thyme leaves in a bowl and mix well.

8. Slice the ciabatta into rounds and spread the garlic and herb butter on the ciabatta slices.

9. Remove the pork from the oven and slice thickly. Place slices of the pork on top of half of the buttered bread slices, followed by a slice of Swiss cheese and some pickles. Place the other slices of bread on top to make sandwiches.

10. Place each cubano in a sandwich toaster for 2-3 minutes, until the cheese melts. Serve immediately.

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