The story is told of Cuban cigar factory workers in Tampa, Florida creating the cubano sandwich to use leftovers from Sunday’s pork roast with other familiar meats to remind them of home. The large Italian population in Tampa added their own spin to the pork-filled cubano- Genoa salami. The original, though, is the similar local pork sandwich called Medianoche that is still served late into the night in smoky Havana jazz clubs, dance halls, and bars.
Medianoche (Midnight) Sandwiches
- Panini press (optional)
- 1 lb Boneless pork loin
- 5 large Garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup Olive oil
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- 2 Oranges, juiced (3 tbsp)
- 3 Limes, juiced
- 1 tbsp Dried oregano
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 6 tbsp Unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tbsp Yellow mustard
- 6 6-inch Sweet rolls (pan suave, challah or Hawaiian)
- 12 slices Deli ham
- 48 Dill pickle chips
- 12 Slices Swiss cheese
- Cook Pork – Set oven rack to the upper third and preheat oven to 400°F. Poke holes all over pork and place on a tin foil covered baking tray. Season heavily with salt and pepper.Microwave the minced garlic and olive oil for 45 seconds. Whisk into a bowl with orange and lime juices, oregano and cumin. Pour over top of roast and rub it into poked holes.Place in oven and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 150°F, about 20-25 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool for at least 30 minutes or seal in a container and keep in refrigerator for up-to a day.
- Assemble Sandwiches – Combine 3 tbsp butter and all the mustard in a small bowl. Cut the rolls in half horizontally. Spread the cut sides of each roll with butter/mustard mixture.In this order top the bottom of each roll with a layer of: sliced roast pork, 2 slices ham, 6-8 pickle chips,b 2 slices of cheese, and then roll tops.
- Cook Sandwiches – Spread exterior of rolls with remaining 3 tbsp softened butter. In a large cast iron or metal skillet, cook each about 4 minutes per side, pressing down with a spatula or the bottom of another skillet. A panini press works perfectly for this as well. Let sit 2 minutes, slice diagonally, and serve.