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Cuban Melts


  • 6 cloves of garlic lightly smashed with the back of a chef's knife
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 counts of olive oil
  • 1.5 pound pork roast I used a sirloin
  • garlic salt
  • pepper
  • oregano
  • 1 medium to large onion sliced
  • 1.5 cups orange juice
  • 1 large lime juiced
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 pound of thinly sliced ham
  • dijon mustard
  • Sliced dill pickles
  • 12 to 18 slices of Swiss cheese depending on if you make 6 or 8 sandwiches, 2 per sandwich
  • sliced sourdough bread


  • Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
  • In a dutch oven, place 2-3 counts of olive oil in the bottom, enough to cover the bottom. Add the red pepper flakes & lightly smashed garlic cloves. Cook on low/medium until lightly browned & fragrant.
  • Using twine, wrap the pork roast in 4 pieces - sort of like a tic tac toe board. Season liberally with garlic salt, pepper, & oregano. Place into the center of the dutch oven over the garlic. Add the onions around the outside of the pork. Sear on each side for a couple minutes until lightly browned. Pour in the orange juice, lime juice, chicken broth, & add the bay leaves. Place the top on the dutch oven & cook in the oven on 300 degrees for 2 to 2.5 hours.
  • After the pork is cooked, let it cool to room temp before slicing. Reserve the drippings for au jus if desired (instructions to follow).
  • Spread dijon mustard on the insides of each slice of bread. Place a semi thick piece of swiss cheese on each slice of bread over the dijon mustard (I had the deli slice my swiss cheese on 2). Now, atop one of the dijon/swiss coated pieces of bread, lay a slice or 2 of pork followed by the pickle of your choice - and then several slices of very thinly sliced ham.
  • Place the top piece of bread (with the dijon & cheese) on top making your sandwich.
  • Melt a couple tablespoons of butter in a skillet or griddle & cook the sandwiches on each time using a heavy press to press them down. I use a cast iron press, but if you don't have one - use a heavy skillet or even aluminum foil covered bricks.