It is another addition to the hotel cooking series using the slow cooker. This addition brings a slow cooker version of the famous Cubano in the form of a slider. Version being the keyword, because while being completely yummy this version does not compare to the beautiful Cubanos I have had in Florida.
It came out quite tasty but it really needed an overnight marinade to really infuse the pork with the beautiful flavors of the juices and seasonings. And next time I might also add my twist of either Corona or tequila. I have also seen recipes using margarita mix for the marinade.
The pork will also benefit from a nice slow roasting in the oven to get it gorgeous browned bits. But that being said, the flavor was excellent from the crock pot and so juicy. Pork shoulder makes such flavorful roasts. You need the beautiful lines of fat inside the shoulder to breakdown, tenderizing the meat. Other cuts would just be dry.
Essential ingredients for a Cubano are mustard, Swiss cheese, thin ham slices and dill pickles on good bread. I used Hawaiian rolls for the slider bread which added a nice sweetness to the sandwich. Hubby loved the sliders and informed me he is looking forward to more in the near future. It was his first experience with Cubanos and I cannot wait until he gets to try a “real” one in Miami.
When building the sandwiches, use a smear of mustard and only a couple of pickle slices. Anymore and you overpower the pork, ham and Swiss cheese. If you are wanting an authentic Cubano, you must use Swiss cheese, no substitutions, just like the dill pickles. It is the combination of dill, spicy, sweet and meaty that just makes my mouth water thinking about it. It is the flavor of the Cubano.
Slow Cooker Cubano Sliders
3.5 lb. bone-in pork shoulder roast or a 3 lb. boneless one
1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup lime juice
1 bunch cilantro, stems cutoff, chopped
1 medium onion, quartered
4-5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
18 to 20 Hawaiian rolls
Sliced ham, room temp.
Swiss cheese slices, room temp.
Sliced dill pickles
Place the pork, juices, cilantro, onion, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper in the crock pot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until cooked through and tender.
Remove the pork from the pot, slice and serve.
To build sliders: Split a roll, smear mustard on both sides, layer on pork slices, a slice of cheese and ham and two to three pickles, depending on size. serve immediately.
More sandwiches recipes and ideas using Hawaiian rolls: