This recipe was originally published in the Roanoker Magazine “Behind the Page” blog. Please visit theroanoker.com for more yummy recipes and bubbly!
How are you planning to celebrate National Mustard Day this Saturday, August 3? I am marinating pork loin with my apple cider mustard marinade to make Cuban sandwiches, Cubanos. If you don’t have time to marinate pork, you can purchase an Applewood-smoked, garlic and herb- or black pepper-marinated pork loin at the grocery. Cuban sandwiches are the perfect melody of pork, mustard, pickle and cheese. Maravilloso!
Apple Cider Mustard Marinade
- 12 ounces Bold Rock Virginia Hard Apple Cider
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon Pommery Meaux (stoneground) mustard (This mustard is available at Fresh Market. It is pricey, but worth the price and it will last a long time in your refrigerator.) Grey Poupon Harvest Coarse Ground mustard can be substituted.
- ½ cup honey
- 2 pound pork loin
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup Pommery Meaux mustard mixed with 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard to rub the pork before grilling
Place apple cider, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon Dijon and 1 tablespoon Pommery mustard and honey in a saucepan. Mix with a spoon to combine all ingredients. Heat over medium low heat for 10 minutes (just barely simmering). Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place pork loin in a baking pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper and pour marinade over it. Cover and place in refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.
Remove pork from refrigerator and place on baking sheet (do not discard marinade). Place the marinade in a saucepan and bring it to a rolling boil over medium heat (important for food safety). Let it simmer over low heat while you are preparing the pork for the grill.
Spread the mustard mixture evenly on the pork. Grill the pork until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees Fahrenheit. Baste the pork with the marinade while it is cooking. Remove the pork from the grill and allow to rest before slicing.
For each sandwich:
- 2 thick slices bread (I like Sara Lee Artesano bakery bread for my Cubano sandwich)
- Thinly sliced pork
- Thin slices Black Forest Ham (or your favorite deli ham)
- Pommery Meaux mustard or Grey Poupon Harvest Course Ground Mustard
- Vlasic Sandwich Stacker bread and butter pickles
- 2 slices baby swiss cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Potato Chips for service (I am partial to Martin’s potato chips sold at Montano’s International Restaurant – so crunchy!)
Melt butter in a grill pan and keep warm over low heat (turn up the heat to medium low when you grill the sandwich). Spread one slice of bread with mayonnaise and one slice with mustard. Place pork, ham, baby swiss cheese and pickles on the slice of bread that has been spread with mustard.
Top with the slice of bread that has been spread with mayonnaise. Place the sandwich in the grill pan and cover with a large saucepan lid. Press the sandwich down lightly with a spatula while it is grilling. Watch the sandwich carefully so it does not burn.
When the sandwich is browned on one side, flip it over to brown the other side. Remove the sandwich from grill pan and cut in half. Serve warm.
Note: Many times I use generic grocery brand ingredients in my recipes, but for this particular recipe I use brand name ingredients because the flavor of the mustard and the crispiness of the pickle are so important to the overall flavor of the sandwich.