MAKING CARNITAS CUBANOS AT HOME
We had a great inspiration last week when we visited our favorite Minneapolis restaurant WISE ACRES (at 54th and Nicollet Ave). In case you didn't know, they also have a multi-faceted farm and produce almost all of the meat, eggs, dairy products and produce for the restaurant! Yes, really cool. They also bake almost all of their breads, desserts, and other bakery goods. A fabulous place and finally getting past the cruel lockdown.
So, anyway we bit into the Cubano and was immediately delighted within seconds of the first bite! Few sandwiches hit you like that instantly! We had to know how to make them. So, we took it apart and wrote down as many ingredients as we could identify (which wasn't really all that hard). One ingredient was new to us and that was what they call their home-made Mojo Mustard (which I think is pronounced Mo-Ho in Spanish). Wise Acres also makes almost all their condiments, jellies, jams, pickles and other fermented vegetables. We bought a jar and planned a gathering with friends who, like us, believe in other ways to avoid the pandemic than masking, distancing and sanitizing every surface!
Here's how we did it.... we bought several loaves of an Italian-Style baguette which are made at our local bakery Bakersfield Bakery, split them lengthways and removed the middle parts so there wasn't so much bread. We saved these middle sections because they made excellent toast! Then we added a thick layer pickled jalapeño peppers, and plenty of crispy fresh dill pickles, lots of the Mojo mustard and then my favorite pork (my own) in the form of lightly-cooked cottage bacon which was then covered with a generous layer of Guyere cheese. This part of the sandwich went into the toaster oven until the cheese was melted and runny. We then added my pulled pork (recipe below!) along with a big handful of fresh cress and pressed down the top bun! Ready to eat. We served jalapeño chips and salt and vinegar chips and really, nothing else is needed because it's a complete meal in a bun. Drinks included some sparkling wine along with rum, lime and mulled mint cocktails (Mojitos!). About the only thing left to try next time is to use ham instead of the bacon, and maybe even run the finished sandwiches briefly through a panini press! With these ingredients it's hard to go wrong!
RECIPE FOR MY PULLED PORK --CUBAN STYLE--
Slow cook a 6# fresh ham or shoulder roast in a crockpot, ceramic pot or in the oven. When it falls apart, pull it into
pieces with two forks.
Marinate the meat with the following marinate ( in doing it again, I'd marinate it overnight before cooking)
Once I assembled all the ingredients I put it in the food processor until it was a uniform green sauce....
- Juice from two organic oranges along with zest from the peel
-Juice from two organic limes, along with zest from both peels
-1/2 cup of white wine
-1/2 coup of white vinegar
-1/4 cup fresh organic cilantro
-1/4 cup of fresh organic oregano
-1 tsp cumin powder
-2 tbsp organic sugar
-1 tsp seasalt