Feb 2, 2016

Cooking with Beer - Cuban Sandwich

One of my favorites, grilled cheese and tomato soup!
This "beer" recipe is going to be a bit different. So please, bare with me...
Who doesn't love a good sandwich? I know I do! It may just be the ultimate comfort food. Who doesn't remember downing countless numbers of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or for you New Englanders out there, fluffanutters! Or having that grilled cheese with a bowl of tomato soup after playing in the snow all morning on a snow day? I could go on! I have a lot of "favorite" sandwiches, however, of all the sandwiches in the world, the Cuban Sandwich is probably my second favorite of them all (2nd only to the grilled cheese, tomato and bacon sandwich).
Its a fairly simple sandwich, that is easy to make. However, if you want to kick up your Cuban a bit, and make it a lot more fun, and rewarding, and something to impress your company, try making it like I do. This is a collection of beer recipes that I combined to make one terrific sandwich.... a sort of beer lovers Cuban Sandwich! My advice, start making it now, because it takes at least 2 weeks to make it like this.

For those that don't know, a traditional Cuban sandwich (traditional American version anyway) is a sandwich, on a roll (normally a pinni), with pork, ham, cheese, pickles and mustard. This recipe, contains beer recipes for the pork, and mustard. Lets get started, shall we. We will make the mustard first....since that takes the longest.

Start at least 2 weeks before you want to eat your sandwich......

You will need;

3/4 cup Brown Mustard Seed
1/4 cup Yellow Mustard Seed
1 cup Beer (I like to use a nice, flavorful brown ale)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2 tbs Dark Brown Sugar
1tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
Canning Jar(s) (this recipe makes about 1.5 pints)



  1. Soak brown and yellow mustard seeds with dark beer in a large bowl set in the refrigerator for 24 hours. If the seeds soak up the beer too quickly, add more beer.
  2. Transfer the soaked mustard seeds to a food processor along with garlic, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and black pepper. Pulse until desired consistency is reached. I normally pull a few tablespoons worth of seeds to add back to the mustard after you have reached your desired consistency.
  3. Sterilize the jars and lids in boiling water for at least 5 minutes.
  4. Pack the mustard into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/4 inch of the top.
  5. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids, and screw on rings.
  6. Refrigerate the jars of mustard for about 2 weeks before using.
Now, lets make the pork tenderloin.
First, lets make a brine for it.
You will need....
  • 1 cup Kosher Salt
  • ½ cup Sugar, Organic
  • 2 tbsp White Pepper
  • 8 each Garlic Cloves, peeled and minced
  • 8 each Bay Leaves
  • ¼ cup Sage Leaves, chopped
  • 2  Lemons, sliced thin
  • ¼ gallon Water
  • ½ gallon Beer (something more malty then hoppy, like an Oktoberfest, or nice Brown Ale

  • In a large pot, add the salt, sugar, white pepper, garlic, bay leaves, sage, lemons and water. Turn heat to medium, stir occasionally until the mixture comes to a boil. Turn off heat and let sit, to infuse the flavors, and cool to room temp. Add cold beer and mix well. Make sure the brine is below 45°, as you want to keep the pork cold. Add the brine to a large container that will hold both the brine and displacement of the pork. I like using the extra large, 2 gallon zip lock bags. Add the pork tenderloin to the bag. Make sure all the air is removed from the back, ensuring the entire loin is submerged in the brine. Place in fridge overnight, up to 24 hours.  The general rule of thumb is to brine 12 hours per 1 pound of pork. If you brine longer than that, you can risk having an over salty piece of pork.

    While the tenderloin is soaking up the brine, you can make the rub. For that, you will need....

    1 tbs smoked paprika
    1 tbs dark brown sugar
    1 tbs sea salt
    1/2 tbs chile powder (I like using Chipotle Chile powder)
    1/2 tbs ground black pepper
    1/4 tbs Allspice

    Mix all above ingredients in a bowl.

    Remove the tenderloin from the brine after desired time. Allow it to sit out until it has reached room temp. Apply a lite coat of olive oil over entire tenderloin, then add rub to tenderloin till entirely covered generously with the rub. Allow to sit for at least 10, up to 30 minutes at room temp before grilling.

    To grill, place on indirect medium heat until it has almost reached the desired temp (internally about 125, 130), then place over direct heat for a few minutes either side allowing for slight charring on both sides. Remove from grill, and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes at room temp before slicing into medium/thin pieces.

    Now, to assemble your sandwich...you will now need.

    Your favorite type of sub roll
    Previously made Mustard
    Previously Grilled Pork Tenderloin
    Deli Sliced Ham
    Provolone or Swiss Cheese
    Bread and Butter (or dill) Pickles

    Preheat oven to about 350 degrees
    Slice your roll length wise, in half, place halves opened on a sheet pan. Butter each half. Place deli ham slices on one half of the bread, place pork slices on top of the ham. Then place desired about of cheese on
    top of the pork. Place in oven until cheese is melted, and bread starts getting a little crispy (but not darkly toasted). Remove from oven,  place pickles on top of the melted cheese, and spread mustard over the open top half of bread. Put both halves together, slice in half, and there you go!

    One of the best, most flavorful sandwiches you will ever eat!!!

    If you make it, take some pictures, and send them my way!! I'd love to know what you think of it!

    Until next time
    Bottoms up my friends!

    The Beer Czar

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