While I was in Tampa for a conference a few years ago a friend and I walked to lunch after the morning session. We ended up at a sports bar near the convention center called Hattrick’s. The place had a bustling lunch crowd – a good sign. I chose to order a Cuban roasted pork sandwich with mojo sauce, and it was incredible!
The sandwich was so good that I went back to Hattrick’s before leaving town to get another. The following Easter I set out to make my own version of this sandwich – I wanted to eat pork but I certainly wasn’t cooking a ham for only two people. By adapting recipes and adding elements from the Hattrick’s sandwich, I perfected my own Mojo Pork Sandwich.
This is not your typical Cuban sandwich with ham, pork, swiss, and mustard. For this sandwich, pork is roasted in mojo sauce, a Cuban citrus garlic sauce, then shredded (adapted from Three Guys from Miami). Then the pork is piled on Cuban bread, topped with melted mozzarella, and paired with a garlic dipping sauce. The results are mouth-watering! I promise you’ll love my re-creation of this sandwich…
Mojo Pork Sandwiches
Prep Time: 45 minutes + 2-3 hours marinating time
Cook Time: 3-6 hours
2 loaves Cuban Bread
6 slices Fresh Mozzarella
2 lb. Pork Shoulder (or other boneless roast)
10-15 cloves Garlic
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Peppercorns
1/2 c. Orange Juice
1/4 c. Lime Juice
1/4 c. Lemon Juice
1 c. minced Onion
2 tsp. Oregano
1/2 c. Olive Oil
Garlic Dipping Sauce
2-3 cloves Garlic
1/4 c. Olive Oil
1/4 c. Orange Juice
2 tbsp. Lime Juice
2 tbsp. Lemon Juice
1 tbsp. Vinegar
1. Start by making the mojo sauce: Mash the garlic, salt, and peppercorns into a paste using a mortar and pestle. Depending on the size of your mortar you may have to do this in two batches.
Note: The variable number of garlic cloves is to account for the size of the cloves. If your head of garlic has nice big cloves, you can probably stop at 10. If the cloves are smaller you may want to use up to 15.
Stir in the orange, lemon, and lime juices along with the onion and oregano then allow to sit at least 30 minutes.
2. Set aside about a quarter cup of the mojo sauce for later.
3. Now it’s time to make the marinade for the roast. We’re going to do this by simply adding oil to our remaining mojo sauce. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, remove from the heat and whisk in the sauce.
4. Pierce the pork roast all over with a fork (to help the marinade penetrate the meat). Pour the marinade over the roast and allow the marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours, turning halfway through.
5. After the roast is through marinating, put the pork and marinade in a crockpot and cook on high for 2 hours. Then turn the heat down to low and cook until the meat shreds easily with a fork (up to 4 more hours). The cook time will vary based on the size and dimensions of your roast.
Tip: If you want to speed up the cooking process, cut the roast into 2-3 chunks before cooking.
6. When the roast is almost done, make the garlic dipping sauce: Combine the garlic, olive oil, and vinegar in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. With the blade running, gradually pour in the juice to make an emulsion. To finish, season with salt and pepper.
This will make excess sauce. The leftovers can be stored in the fridge up to a couple weeks. Just make sure you let it come up to room temperature and run it through a blender to re-emulsify before serving.
The sauce is not critical but adds another dimension of flavor. If you’re not a garlic lover, you skip the sauce and still have a delicious sandwich!
7. Shred the pork (I use two forks) and drizzle with the mojo sauce you set aside earlier. If the pork still doesn’t seem moist enough to you, you can add some of the cooking juice, just try to avoid the oil floating at the top.
8. Cut your Cuban bread into sandwich-size pieces then halve the pieces. Top with shredded pork, packing it down to keep it from falling off.
Looking for something to do with those bread heels? I’ll admit, I usually just eat mine (the bread’s THAT good), but it’s also great with soup. Check out our**FIX** Butternut Squash Soup, Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup, or Lasagna Soup for ideas…
9. Top with a slice of fresh mozzarella and cook under the broiler until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown lightly. Keep an eye on the bread because it toasts faster than the cheese melts – you may have to pull out the sandwich tops before the bottoms.
10. Close the sandwich and you’re ready to dig in!
Serve with the garlic dipping sauce and a side. I like to pair it with chips or a potato dish – fries or our Perfect Oven-Roasted Potato Wedges. Leftovers reheat well and make a great packed lunch. Enjoy!