Grilled Cubanos Recipe


Fire up your grill and get ready for some serious smoke.

Grilled Cubanos Recipe

[Photographs: Joshua Bousel]

One of the greatest parts of cooking large quantities of huge hunks of meat is the almost inevitable leftovers. When I have the grill or smoker going, I can't help but add more meat than I know I'll actually be able to eat, just to ensure more enjoyment in the weeks ahead. This is exactly what I did with my pernil a couple weeks back. That large bag of roast pork sitting in my fridge meant one thing was for sure: Cubanos were in my future.

A sandwich of sandwiches, these Cubanos came pretty close to perfection. A double dose of pig in ham and roast pork met some creamy Swiss cheese, dill pickles, and yellow mustard, all piled up on Italian rolls (couldn't get my hands on true Cuban rolls), then taken over medium heat on the grill and weighed down with a hot brick to press the sandwiches to a manageable height. The creamy cheese and tangy snap of the pickles were perfect contrasts to the meats, creating an explosion of flavor and texture in each bite.

Unfortunately all that leftover pernil is no more, making me think next time I need to add an extra shoulder or two to keep the goodness going.


  • 4 Cuban or Italian rolls
  • 1/2 lb roast pork
  • 1/2 lb sliced ham
  • 1/3 lb sliced Swiss cheese
  • Dill pickle slices
  • Yellow mustard
  • Cast iron sandwich press or a brick wrapped in heavy duty foil
  • Type of fire: direct
  • Grill heat: medium


  1. 1.

    Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over the charcoal grate. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Place the sandwich press or brick on the grill to heat up.

  2. 2.

    Slice the bread in half and spread mustard on both pieces. Assemble the sandwiches by laying down a few slices of ham, then roast pork, cheese, and pickles. Put the sandwich on the grill, placing the press or brick on top. Grill until the sandwich is flattened, the bread is crusty, and the cheese is melted. Remove from the grill and serve.