The movie Chef tells the story of a chef at a prestigious Los Angeles restaurant that quits his job, moves to Miami, rediscovers his love for Cuban cuisine, reconnects with his ex-wife, launches a food truck business and invites his young son to join him. The venture allows him to reignite his passion for cooking and his zest for life and love.
But the real star of the movie is not the chef as much as the Cubano sandwich that plays a continuous role throughout. On the road trip back from Miami to LA chef sells top quality Cubanos to customers in various cities along the way.
Below is the cubano sandwich recipe from the 2014 movie. The recipe was created by real life chef Roy Choi and was published on thestar.com.
Roy Choi’s Mojo Pork Cubano
6 thin slices baked ham
12 large, thin slices Roy Choi’s Mojo Pork (recipe follows) or other cooked roast pork
Melted butter, for brushing
Two large white baguettes, each cut in 3 pieces (about 6 inch/15 cm), split lengthwise
Yellow mustard, for brushing
6 thin slices Swiss cheese
12 long thin slices dill pickles
Heat panini/sandwich press over medium. Add ham and pork. Cook, turning once, until warmed and browned in spots, about 1 minute. Transfer to plate.
Generously butter cut sides of baguettes. Toast on press over medium until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to work surface. Layer bottom of buns with pork, ham, cheese and pickles. Brush inside of bun tops with mustard. Close sandwiches.
Generously butter outside of sandwiches. Place on press. Cook until cheese melts and outsides are browned and crispy, about 3 minutes.
(If you don’t have a press, use a large, cast-iron skillet or griddle. Top sandwiches with a large baking sheet weighed down with heavy cans or cast-iron skillet. Cook over medium for about 3 minutes per side.)
Let sandwiches stand 1 minute before cutting in half. Serve hot.
Roy Choi’s Mojo Pork
2/3 cup (160 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 tbsp (22 mL) finely grated orange zest
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh lime juice
7 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2/3 cup (160 mL) lightly packed cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup (60 mL) lightly packed mint leaves, chopped
1 tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh oregano leaves
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
1 tsp (5 mL) each: kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper
4 to 6 lb (1.8 to 2.7 kg) boneless pork shoulder (butt end)
In large bowl, whisk oil, orange zest, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, cilantro, mint, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper. Add pork. Turn until well coated all over. Transfer pork and marinade to large, resealable plastic bag. Place bag in bowl. Refrigerate, turning occasionally, 12 to 24 hours.
Discard marinade. Pork may be netted. If not, and if desired, tie with kitchen twine in 4 spots to form tight roll. Set pork, fat side up, on rack set in shallow roasting pan or on rimmed baking sheet.
Roast, uncovered, in preheated 425F (220C) oven 30 minutes; baste with pan juices. Reduce heat to 375F (190C). Roast, basting every half hour, until instant-read thermometer insert in centre registers 160F (71C), 90 to 120 minutes.
Transfer pork to cutting board. Cover loosely with foil. Let stand 30 minutes before discarding net or twine. Refrigerate until cold to make it easier to slice.