This Medianoche Sandwich from Cuba is a perfect, filling lunch or a fun, late-night snack. It’s piled high with pork, ham, mustard, pickles and Swiss cheese and then grilled to perfection. You’re going to love this Cuban Recipe!
Hello Reader! I try my hardest to research recipes as best as I can before posting to ensure I am representing each culture correctly. If this recipe is from your country and I have made a mistake or you have suggestions for how to make it more authentic, I would love to hear! Please leave a comment below letting me know what should be different, and I will rework the recipe. It is always my intention to pay homage and respect to each cultural dish that I cook. Thanks for reading!
I love cooking sandwiches for The Foreign Fork. It’s such a fun experience to see the different sandwiches that people make around the world. Most, like the Churrasco Steak Sandwich from Chile and the Peameal Bacon Sandwich from Canada, are full of big cuts of meat.
Are you surprised that this Medianoche from Cuba is the same? In fact, there’s TWO different kinds of meat on this sandwich: pork and ham!
I wasn’t sure I was going to like the Medianoche. I don’t really like mustard and I definitely don’t like pickles. But much to my surprise, I gobbled up the entire sandwich, licking my fingers clean!
I’m so excited to share this recipe with you, and I can’t wait for you to make it, too!
What is the Difference Between a Medianoche and a Cuban?
A Medianoche and a Cuban are almost the same sandwich. They both have pork, ham, pickles, mustard, and Swiss cheese.
The main difference between the two types of sandwiches is the bread. Cuban sandwiches are made on Cuban bread, a crustier, flakier type of bread.
Medianoches, on the other hand, are normally made with challah bread or something similar. The challah bread is an eggier bread that is a little more dense than Cuban bread.
What Does the Name “Medianoche” Mean?
Directly translated, medianoche means “midnight” in Spanish. The Medianoche sandwich is named after this time of night because that’s normally when it’s eaten!
In Havana, the capital of Cuba, Medianoche sandwiches are served outside of many of the popular night clubs. When people begin leaving the nightclubs around midnight, they eat Medianoches. The sandwich is named after the most popular time to eat it!
What Ingredients are in a Medianoche?
Pork loin center cut chop
Salt and Pepper
Baby dill pickles
Deli Spiral Sliced Ham
If you think these flavors sound delicious, check out German Beef Rouladen with Gravy, which also uses pickles, pork, and mustard as filling.
How to Make a Medianoche Sandwich
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the pork loin in a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, then salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle one side of the pork loin with honey. Turn the pork loin over so that the honey-coated side is down.
Roast the pork loin for about 30 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the meat reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit (70 degrees Celsius).
Remove the pork from the oven. Shave off thin slices of the pork lengthwise.
Lay out your rolls or bread, and equally layer the filling for each sandwich. Start with pork, then ham, then swiss cheese, then pickles, and mustard on top.
Heat a skillet and melt the butter. Put the sandwiches into the skillet. Place a 10” cast iron skillet on top of the sandwiches to press them down, grilling until crispy. Flip and do the same on the other side.
Enjoy! Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought.
What is the Difference Between a Pork Loin and a Pork Tenderloin?
Before I actually knew that there was a difference between a pork loin and a pork tenderloin, I messed this up a lot. Turns out, these are two completely different cuts of meat!
A pork tenderloin is a long and thin piece of meat. It comes from the muscle that runs along the backbone of the pig.
Pork loin, on the other hand, is smaller and flatter. This cut of meat comes from the back of the animal.
For this recipe, you’re going to need a pork LOIN (AKA the smaller, flatter cut of pork). Make sure to get the right kind so that the cooking instructions work correctly!
Do I Have to Drizzle Honey on my Pork?
It’s atypical to have the recipe for a Medianoche call for Honey Roasted Pork. However, this was one of my favorite parts of the meal! A lot of the ingredients in a Medianoche are more briney and harsh, a flavor profile I’m a bit averse to.
I wanted to cut the bitterness of the food, so the honey roast on the pork was just enough to add a little sweetness to the sandwich.
If you don’t have honey or don’t want to add it to your pork, you certainly don’t have to! The pork roasting instructions will stay the same either way. It’s up to you if you’d like the sweet taste.
What is the Best Type of Bread for this Sandwich?
As I mentioned earlier, a Medianoche sandwich normally calls for Challah bread. I also tested this recipe with Telera Rolls and absolutely loved the way they turned out! Matt even said that “the bread made the sandwich”.
Use challah bread if you can find it, but if you can’t, don’t stress! Just make sure to use a hearty, dense bread that won’t fall apart easily (there’s a lot of goodness to maintain in this sandwich!).
And remember: if you end up using Cuban bread, that will work just fine! You’ll just technically have a “Cuban” instead of a “Medianoche”.
Did you like this Medianoche Recipe from Cuba? If so, leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought! And don’t forget to post a photo on Facebook or Instagram and tag @TheForeignFork and hashtag #TheForeignFork.
If you liked this recipe, you might also like these other yummy sandwiches from around the world!:
- Panzanella Sandwich
- Churrasco Steak Sandwich from Chile
- Peameal Bacon Sandwich from Canada
- Colombian Arepas Recipe
- 1 lb pork loin center cut chop boneless
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 tsp honey
- 6 slices swiss cheese
- 6 tbsp yellow mustard
- 9 baby dill pickles sliced in half lengthwise
- ½ -¾ lb Deli Spiral Sliced Ham
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 loaf Cuban Bread Can substitute 3 Brioche Buns if necessary
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the pork loin in a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil, then salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle one side of the pork loin with honey. Turn the pork loin over so that the honey-coated side is down.
- Roast the pork loin for about 30 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the meat reads 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove the pork from the oven. Shave off thin slices of the pork lengthwise.
- Lay out your rolls or bread, and equally layer the filling for each sandwich. Start with pork, then ham, then swiss cheese, then pickles, and mustard on top.
- Heat a skillet and melt the butter. Put the sandwiches into the skillet. Place a 10” cast iron skillet on top of the sandwiches to press them down, grilling until crispy. Flip and do the same on the other side.
- Enjoy! Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you thought.