Slow roasted pork, smoked ham, cheddar and gherkins
After watching Chef again at the weekend, I had a real hankering for a Cubano, so I came up with this British take on the classic sandwich.
For the pork
1kg pork shoulder
2 red onions, halved
2 carrots, halved lengthways
2 sticks celery, halved
1 bulb garlic, skin on, broken into cloves
6-8 bay leaves
450 ml vegetable stock
For the rest
10 slices of smoked Wiltshire ham
20 slices of extra mature cheddar (at least a 6 strength)
A jar of gherkins
10 sunflower seed ciabattas
Place the pork on a flat surface, skin side up. Using a small sharp knife, score the skin with cuts about 1cm apart. Be careful not to cut to deeply and into the meat. Now, rub sea salt into the skin and cuts and brush off any excess.
Turn the pork over and rub a little salt and pepper over the meat.
Preheat the oven to 220C.
Put all of the vegetables into a large roasting tin and place the pork on top. Cook for 30 minutes.
Pour the vegetable stock into the roasting tin and cover with foil. Reduce the oven's temperature down to 150C and continue to cook the pork for 5 hours.
Transfer the pork to a large plate and loosely cover with foil. Leave to rest for 45-60 minutes before shredding up the meat using two forks.
If the crackling is still a little soft, peel it away from the meat and place it on a baking tray in the oven at 200C. Check on it every few minutes until it's sufficiently crunchy.
To make the sandwiches, cut open the ciabattas and butter both sides, spreading a thin layer of English mustard on the top too. Layer the ingredients as shown in the picture.
You can eat this sandwich cold, but I prefer it hot, with the cheese oozing through it.
Heat up the sandwich press. When ready, cook each one until the outside is golden and the cheddar has melted.