There’s this amazing place called Paseo.
If any of you have ever been to Seattle, you may have heard it talked about in not-so-subtle-ways when asking locals if they knew of any good, cheap-eats sandwich places ’round here.
Now, those in-the-know will mention Paseo. And inevitably, the reactions to the mention of Paseo will most certainly go something like this:
“Oh, my god, their Cuban Roast sandwich is amazing!”
“Holy, f___ s___, isn’t their roasted pork sandwich f___ amazing?!”
And, yes, I know I am repeating myself, but people tend to do that when talking about Paseo’s Cuban Roast sandwich. I have seen otherwise mellower-than-snail-persons practically lose their bleepin’ minds talking about this sandwich. It’s that freakin’ good.
But, alas, one can’t always hop in one’s car or walk their way to this Seattle shack of culinary goodness.
So, I searched high and low, long and hard, and — just about when I had given up hope of ever finding it — almost had an embolism the other day when I stumbled upon a fabulous recipe by fellow food sisters, Lorna Lee and Ali Basye.
It was from their book, The Newlywed Kitchen, for, yup — you guessed it — their version of this legendary sandwich.
Feeling like I had just found the mother load, I bravely set out — on the hottest day in Seattle so far this year — to make my version of it for you. And, kids, it was worth every sweat ‘stache* minute.
* sweat ‘stache - n. definition: when you’re so hot, you get a moustache of sweat on your upper lip.
My version is all about the pork, and not resigned to just being served as a sandwich filling. ‘Cause when you’ve got an incredible, perfectly roasted piece of pork, I believe you should enjoy it — in more ways than one.
Cuban Roast Pork
Adapted from The Newlywed Kitchen by Lorna Lee and Ali Basye
For the Roast Pork
3 1/2 pounds bone-in pork shoulder (or Boston Butt)
1 cup sweet onion, diced
10 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons dried parsley
3 bay leaves
2 rounded tablespoons light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt
2 teaspoons ground pepper
2 cups orange juice
1/2 cup lime juice (if you don’t have enough limes, feel free to substitute with lemons)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the Garlic Mayonnaise
1/2 cup organic mayonnaise
1 tablespoon garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 tablespoons sweet relish
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the Fixings
Bunch of cilantro
Pickled Serrano chiles, sliced
Ciabatta or baguette, split, toasted, and buttered
Cooked organic brown rice
Note: You’ll need to marinate the pork and make the mayonnaise the day before you plan on serving. It’s totally worth it and quite easy once you prep the marinade. The most you’ll have to do after that, is wait.
First, prepare the marinade.
In a large tupperware container, combine pork, onions, garlic, parsley, bay leaves, brown sugar, salt, pepper, orange juice, lime juice, and extra-virgin olive oil. Cover and refrigerate overnight, making sure to flip pork halfway through marinating time to evenly marinate both sides.
Make garlic mayonnaise the day before as well by combining mayonnaise, garlic, sweet relish, and lemon juice in small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Doing so will help marry all those delicious flavors.
The day of, four hours before serving, preheat oven to 300 Degrees F.
Place pork in a casserole or roasting pan (cast iron, preferably), pour reserved marinade over the top of roast, and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Transfer pork to oven and roast for 2 hours on one side. Flip over, baste with marinade, and roast for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until meat is cooked and tender. Pork will be slightly pink and juices should run clear.
Remove from oven, place roast on cutting board and let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, using a ladle or large spoon, skim the excess fat off the top of marinade and discard. Using a sharp chef’s knife and fork to steady, cut pork into large pieces and then throw back into roasting pan with all the nummy marinade. Mix well.
Serve immediately as either a sandwich…
…by spreading the garlic mayonnaise on both the top and bottom split Ciabatta or baguette pieces. Layer bottom bread piece with cilantro leaves and Serrano chiles, to taste. Heap on lots of pork, more cilantro, a couple of pieces of romaine, and then squish the top bread piece on top.
And if you want to really send it over the the top, throw on some grilled onions. And, yup, I really did just say that.
Or…you can serve it warm as a Cuban Roast Pork with Rice — like I did for lunch the day after…
…just substitute the bread with brown rice instead, pile on the pork, top with a dollop of that luscious garlic mayo, and finish off with lots of cilantro and Serranos!
What other ways do you think you could serve Cuban Roast Pork?
Let’s share and discuss!