As you may know, PALO! used to perform the first Thursday of each month at D. Rodriguez Cuba at the Hotel Astor. Although we no longer play there, this was one of the most fun gigs ever. But one of the coolest things was that I got to collaborate with the Chef on “The Juban Sandwich”. Chef Douglas generously asked me to begin the initial research on my own. I went right to work.
I started my experiments armed only with a sandwich press and my unique culinary point of view. I enlisted some friends for the Juban Sandwich Test Kitchen. We tried various combinations of bread, ingredients and sauces. One version of the sandwich contained cow’s tongue, roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickle, and a sauce. It was delicious, but questions remained: rye bread with caraway seeds or without? Pork, or no pork?
After reporting the results back to Chef Douglas, we settled on a final, delicious recipe. First, he decided that he’d bake his own fresh bread exclusively for the Juban: Cuban bread with caraway seeds. Talk about both worlds colliding! The other ingredients are as follows:
- Pickles, prepared specifically for this sandwich
- Roasted beef brisket, thinly sliced, replacing the Cuban sandwich’s roast pork
- Turkey ham, thinly sliced, adding a nice smokey flavor
- Swiss cheese – this is something the “Cuban” and the “Reuben” have in common!
- Garlic aioli mayonnaise
The bread is split and the ingredients are strategically placed inside. The sandwich is grilled slowly on a sandwich press until the cheese is melted, the ingredients are hot, and you can tap on the bread and hear that Cuban clave percussive sound! It’s served with crispy plantain chips.
No es por nada pero this sandwich is TO DIE FOR!
See how Chef Douglas makes the Juban Sandwich: