Cuban Roast Pork

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.

Cuban Roast Sandwich at Paseo — Seattle Times / Ellen Banner

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

Serves 6

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
Romaine lettuce
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!


22 thoughts on “Cuban Roast Pork

  1. OMG!!! Paseo cuban pork sandwich!!! I just had it this summer. It was totally incredible! My husband loves it so much! He will be so thrilled that I have found this recipe. I am making this in 2 weeks. Thank you so much! Very excited.

    • Hello, Miss Lokness,

      I know exactly how you feel and felt the same way when I stumbled upon the recipe! And you’re so welcome — I just know you’ll not be disappointed with my version of it. The way I see it, if you can’t be in Seattle to get a Cuban at Paseo, the next best thing is to make your own, and now you can =)

      Stop back on by and let me know how you liked it!

    • I’m not sure, Lynda, as I do not have one myself, but honestly, I don’t see why not.

      The key is to cook this cut of meat slowly, over low heat for a long time, so slow cookers might actually be perfect for it. Let me know how it turns out =)

  2. I cannot express to you how much I am in love with Paseo’s!! Hands down my favorite sandwich ever! Its a dark time for Seattle right now that its closed for winter 😦 I must give this recipe a try soon, as I am currently going through withdrawals.

    • Hi Nic!

      I know, right?! I couldn’t agree more; hands down, the best sandwich ever.

      Make this recipe though and it’ll totally get you through these dark, dark days, and you may just be surprised how incredibly close it tastes to Paseo’s version.

      Come back and let me know how you liked it!


    I just made this today in the crock pot. I mixed all the ingredients together last night for the pork shoulder and the mayo spread to sit overnight. In the morning, I put the crock pot on low and when I got home, before I could unlock the door to my house, I could smell the deliciousness! The smell was like a warm hug when I opened up my door. 🙂 I grilled up the onions, toasted the bread, got all the fixins together, then made this most glorious sandwich. IT. WAS. SO. GOOD. Thank you for sharing this recipe Christina! I look forward to trying it in the oven next time to see if there is a difference in the taste, but so far, double thumbs up!

    • Awesome! So glad to hear it, Sarah, honey! And what a great idea to make it in a slow cooker — genius! Iago is a big fan too. When I gave him a small piece, I think I blew his little kitty mind! His eyes got so big and I can safely say that it was most likely the best thing he’d ever tasted — viva la pork Cubano!

      Love you, dear friend!


      • Love you too dear friend and also, you know me and how excited I get about food ;-), I took the leftover pork and made tostadas the following day. I mixed up a salsa salad with some chopped radishes, red onion, corn, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Put the shredded pork, salsa salad, and guacamole on top of the fried tortilla…Mmmm…so good. I may have to make this for you when you come visit. 🙂

        Big hugs!

  4. Pingback: Top 10 Traditional Cuban Dishes

  5. Used this recipe but added a very flavorful step by using my outdoor charcoal grill. I used my iron skillet filled with the pork and marinade and put it on an indirect heat (where the charcoal is not directly under the skillet). Put a few soaked wood chips and roasted the pork and marinade for an 1 1/2 hours turning the pork over once during the process. Then took the skillet with the pork and put it in the oven for the rest of the time (about 2 1/2 more hours). The grill adds a smoky flavor and does a nice job of browning the meat. I served the meal right in the iron skillet for a real show stopper at dinner time. Yum.

    • Now you’re cooking, Shane! Way to make my recipe your own. Great idea adding that extra step. For those of us who don’t have an outdoor charcoal grill, we’ll live vicariously through you 😉 Thanks for sharing!

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