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Cuban Medianoche Sandwich

With a name meaning “midnight” in Spanish, this Cuban sandwich is a nightclub staple in Havana. The sandwich is also popular in the communities of Cuban expatriates that have formed in increasing numbers in the southern United States since the 1960s. More than three-quarters of the country’s Cuban population is concentrated in Florida, but their cuisine can be found around the country. The medianoche is very similar to a Cuban sandwich, but uses a sweet, soft egg bread called pan suave. Similar to challah, the bread provides more richness. The sandwich is traditionally heated in a press before serving.

Recipe Servings: 4

Prep Time
10 minutes
+ 15 minutes resting
Cook Time
1 hour 9 minutes
Total Time
1 hour 34 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free



  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Season the pork with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Place the pork on a roasting tray and roast until a meat thermometer inserted reads 160°F, about 45 minutes.
  3. Transfer meat to a cutting board and let it rest for 15 minutes before thinly slicing.
  4. Slice pieces of bread in half lengthwise and spread the inside of each with 1 tablespoon of mustard. Layer the ham, pork, cheese, and pickles evenly on each of the sandwiches.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a 12-inch skillet.
  6. Working in batches of two at a time, cook the sandwiches, pressing down with a spatula or the bottom of an additional smaller iron skillet, for about 3 minutes, until golden on the bottom. Flip and continue to cook, pressing, for 3 minutes, until the other side is golden brown and the cheese has melted.
  7. Transfer to a cutting board and cut in half diagonally to serve.

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