Home Recipes Main Dishes Head Country Ultimate Cuban Sandwich

Head Country Ultimate Cuban Sandwich

Head Country Ultimate Cuban Sandwich Sliced
This post is sponsored by Head Country. Sponsored posts, along with affiliate links, are what enable bloggers like me to maintain and operate sites that are free to the public. That said, I only work with products and brands that I personally use and would feel proud to give as a gift.

I’m no stranger to big sandwiches. If you’ve seen my Instagram account, you know I sometimes get carried away and a single sandwich can often feed a family of four. This is one of them. In fact, this may be my favorite sandwich to date because it combines so many of the things I love: melt-in-your-mouth tender pork, gooey melted cheese, a bit of acid from the pickles, and just the slightest hint of heat.

Step-by-step with photos | Download recipe (PDF – 229 K)

Head Country Ultimate Cuban Sandwich

Serves: 8-10 | Prep time: 15 min | Cook time: 5 hours

Ingredients

3 lbs pork shoulder
Head Country High Plains Heat Championship Seasoning
3/4 cup Head Country Apple Habanero Bar-B-Q Sauce
3/4 cup apple juice
Sandwich rolls of your choice
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup yellow mustard
1/4 medium Vidalia onion, roughly chopped
5 slices of Swiss cheese per sandwich
5 thin slices of ham per sandwich
3 thin slices of dill pickle per sandwich

Equipment

Grill or smoker
Meat thermometer
Basting mop or brush
Lump charcoal
Wood chunks (I use apple and pecan)

Directions

  1. Preheat your grill or smoker to 235 degrees. If you’re using a grill be sure you set it up for two-zone heat and cook your pork using indirect heat.
  2. Combine the mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons of the Head Country Bar-B-Q High Plains Heat Championship Seasoning, mix thoroughly, and place in the refrigerator.
  3. Mix the Head Country Apple Habanero Bar-B-Q sauce with the apple juice to make your mop sauce and place in the refrigerator.
  4. Remove the pork from its packaging, rinse under cold water, and pat dry.
  5. Place pork on cutting board and coat lightly with the mustard.
  6. Season liberally with Head Country High Plains Heat Championship Seasoning. Be sure to coat the sides and ends of the pork as well.
  7. Add wood chunks to the hot coals on your cooker, and place pork in the indirect heat zone for 2 to 2.5 hours.
  8. After 45 minutes of cook time, apply some of the mop sauce to the pork using a basting mop or brush. Repeat every 40 minutes as the pork cooks.
  9. After two hours, or when the desired color is achieved, remove the pork from the cooker and prepare to wrap it. I use tin foil to form a boat, but you can also use butcher paper.
  10. With the pork in the tin foil boat, add about ½ cup of the mop sauce and the chopped onion. Insert the probe of your meat thermometer.
  11. Wrap the pork as tightly as you can—I use 3-4 layers of foil—and return it to the indirect heat of the cooker.
  12. Continue cooking until it reaches an internal temp of 185 – 190 degrees F.
  13. Remove the pork from cooker and partially unwrap, letting the steam escape. Allow it to cool for 30 minutes before thinly slicing.
  14.  Apply a generous portion of the mayonnaise and seasoning mixture to the top bun of each sandwich and set aside.
  15. Assemble your sandwiches by layering slices of pork, ham, and cheese on the bottom bun. Place the sandwiches in a 350-degree oven for about 4 minutes or until the cheese melts. Place pickle slices on top of the cheese, add your top bun, then slice and serve.

Step-by-Step

Step 1: Preheat your grill or smoker to 235 degrees. If you’re using a grill be sure you set it up for two-zone heat and cook your pork using indirect heat.

adding head country seasoning to mayonnaise

Step 2: Combine the mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons of the Head Country Bar-B-Q High Plains Heat Championship Seasoning, mix thoroughly, and place in the refrigerator. I do this first so the seasoning has time to infuse into the mayo. Feel free to make as much of this as you like and save some for later. It goes well on all kinds of sandwiches; I even put it on scrambled eggs.

Step 3: Mix the Head Country Apple Habanero Bar-B-Q sauce with the apple juice and place in the refrigerator. Adding apple juice thins out the Bar-B-Q sauce and makes an excellent mop for the pork. You’ll also use it as a braising liquid during the cook.

Step 4: Remove the pork from its packaging, rinse under cold water, and pat dry. Whether or not to rinse the pork before cooking is a controversial subject. I always do this just to get the slimy residue off the meat; others will disagree here. Do what feels comfortable to you, but the roast does need to be dry when you start to prep it for the grill.

Step 5: Place pork on cutting board and coat lightly with the mustard. The mustard doesn’t add flavor but helps bond the seasoning to the meat.

pork shoulder coated with head country seasoning

Step 6: Season liberally with Head Country High Plains Heat Championship Seasoning. Be sure to coat the sides and ends of the pork as well.

pork shoulder coated with rub on grill

Step 7: Add wood chunks to the hot coals on your cooker, and place pork in the indirect heat zone. I don’t worry with internal temp at this point, I’m just looking for a nice color. That usually takes about 2 to 2.5 hours.

Step 8: After 45 minutes of cook time, apply some of the mop sauce to the pork using a basting mop or brush. Repeat every 40 minutes as the pork cooks.

pork shoulder cooked over grill grate

Step 9: After two hours, or when the desired color is achieved, remove the pork from the cooker and prepare to wrap it. I use tin foil to form a boat, but you can also use butcher paper.

adding sauce and onion to pork shoulder in tin foil boat

Step 10: With the pork in the tin foil boat, add about ½ cup of the mop sauce and the chopped onion. Insert the probe of your meat thermometer. I use my Thermoworks Smoke as I find it to be very reliable, but use whatever you have. The mop sauce will help steam the pork as it cooks, adding amazing flavor and keeping it moist.

pork shoulder wrapped in tin foil

Step 11: Wrap the pork as tightly as you can—I use 3-4 layers of foil—and return it to the indirect heat of the cooker.

Step 12: Continue cooking until it reaches an internal temp of 185 to 190 degrees F. I would recommend cooking for a longer period of time if this was going to be pulled pork. However, you need to be able to slice the pork thinly for sandwiches. Cooking it past 190 degrees makes slicing a challenge because, the closer you get to 200 degrees, the will become very tender and begin to fall apart.

Step 13: Remove the pork from cooker and partially unwrap, letting the steam escape. Allow it to cool for 30 minutes before thinly slicing. I like to add a few more shakes of the seasoning at this point for some extra flavor.

Step 14: Apply a generous portion of the mayonnaise and seasoning mixture to the top bun of each sandwich and set aside.

head country Cuban sandwich assembled on roll

Step 15: Assemble your sandwiches by layering slices of pork, ham, and cheese on the bottom bun. Place the sandwiches in a 350-degree oven for about 4 minutes or until the cheese melts. Place pickle slices on top of the cheese, add your top bun, then slice and serve. (Or don’t slice and just go in Grillseeker-style… your choice!)

Printable Recipe

Download this recipe as a PDF