I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately. Perhaps it was the visit to Ipswich to my childhood home, sleeping in my old twin bed with my feet tucked just so to escape the cold winter air that clamors and claws to get in. Or maybe it was the most recent Seattle snowstorm that brought our little neighborhood six inches, and brought the city to its knees. Whatever the reason…I’ve been feeling oddly unsettled as though something is missing but I can’t seem to remember what it was.
Whenever this happens I inevitably find myself in the kitchen, cooking up a storm, and usually inviting dear friends (who won’t care that the house is messy with puppy paw prints) to come over and enjoy it.
The Cuban sandwich from Paseo‘s is utterly epic in Seattle, but since they are on the north end of the town, and I the south, I seldom get to enjoy it anymore. (see?? There I go again with the nostalgia)
So I did what any amateur cook and aspiring food blogger would do. I set out to recreate it for myself. And I called all our neighborhood friends to come enjoy the yummy, messy, utter deliciousness that is this sandwich.
This is how it went…
Paseo Pork Cubano Sandwich with Garlic Mayo, Carmelized Onions, Cilantro, and Jalapenos
Based on a few recipes (including Use Real Butter) and good ‘ol fashioned trial and error
Serves 10-12, invite all your friends. You will be more popular after they eat this.
2 French baguettes like used in Banh Mi sandwiches (Vietnamese markets, like Q Bakery, sell these for a dollar or two a piece and they are the best…you want something so crusty that when you cut it you make a big mess)
garlic mayo (see below)
roast pork (see below)
2 large yellow onions
pickled jalapeño peppers
3 cups orange juice
2 tbsps olive oil
1 lime, juice of
2 tbsps garlic, minced
1 tsp oregano, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 oz. rum
4 – 5 lb. pork shoulder (bone in)
1 bulb garlic
olive oil for drizzling
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsps olive oil
1 lime, juice of
- Make the pork
- Combine the orange juice, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, and rum in a large bowl.
- Add the pork and marinate in the fridge for 3 – 24 hours, flipping occasionally. Obviously the longer it marinates the better.
- Once marinating is complete, pull the pork from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature for 1-2 hours. (don’t discard the marinade!)
- In a large lightly greased skillet or cast iron pan, sear the meat on all sides until nicely browned.
- Remove the meat (don’t wash the pan!) and add to a slow cooker along with the marinade and cook on high for 4-6 hours, turning each hour, or until fork tender and literally falling off the bone. (Thanks Katie from Oregon for the inspiration to try this in the slow-cooker!)
- Remove from marinade, shred with two forks, and keep warm.
- Make the garlic mayonnaise
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- Slice the top off the garlic bulb and place it in a small baking dish or on a piece of foil that has been pulled up at the edges (to form a bowl).
- Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until the garlic is soft.
- Peel the skins off the garlic cloves and mash the garlic into a paste.
- Combine the garlic with mayonnaise, olive oil, and lime juice. Stir until blended.
- Caramelize the onions
- Peel and slice the onions into 1/4-inch strips.
- Heat a little olive oil on medium flame in the same pan you used to sear the pork.
- When the oil is hot, add the onions and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
- Remove from heat when the onions are caramelized.
- Assemble the goodness
- Cut an 8-inch long piece of a baguette
- Slice it in half, lengthwise.
- Spread garlic mayonnaise on both pieces of bread and bake or toast in a 350 degree oven until the mayonnaise starts to bubble and puff.
- Remove from the oven.
- Layer the pork, onions, cilantro, pickled jalapeños, and more garlic mayonnaise on one piece of the bread.
- Top with the other half of the bread and evolve into culinary bliss.