The Cuban Reuben

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cuban reuben grilled cheese recipe 921
Colin Price/Great Grilled Cheese

Meet the Cuban Reuben, a crowd favorite from chef Eric Greenspan’s acclaimed restaurant The Foundry on Melrose. It’s a harmonious marriage between, well, a Cuban sandwich and a Reuben, inspired by his colleague and good friend Alfonso Ramirez.

“I first met Alfonso Ramirez when I was a line cook at Patina Restaurant in Los Angeles,” Greenspan explains. “I loved his work ethic and passion for cooking. We became great friends, and he has continued to be a supportive friend and ally throughout my career. The Cuban Reuben is a marriage of Alfonso’s Cuban roots and my Jewish upbringing.” We love it.

Here, excerpted from Greenspan’s The Great Grilled Cheese Book: Grown-Up Recipes for a Childhood Classic, is the glorious (extra-cheesy) recipe.



2 pounds pork butt, cut into fist-size chunks

1 cup Dijon mustard

½ cup minced garlic

1 cup manteca (lard)

2 cups fresh orange juice

Red Cabbage Kraut

2 cups red-wine vinegar

½ cup honey

¼ cup kosher salt

1 head red cabbage, cored and shredded

Orange Sauce

2 cups fresh orange juice

½ cup mayonnaise

½ cup Dijon mustard

Grated zest of 1 orange


8 slices rye bread

12 ounces Gruyère cheese, cut into 8 equal slices or grated

2 dill pickles, thinly sliced lengthwise (12 to 16 slices)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, for finishing


1. MAKE THE PORK: Rub the pork pieces with the mustard, coating them evenly, and then with the garlic, again coating evenly. In a saucepan, melt the manteca over medium heat. Add the pork and sear, turning as needed, for 8 to 10 minutes, until browned on all sides. (You may need to brown the meat in batches to avoid crowding.) Add the orange juice, bring to a simmer, and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 1½ hours, until tender.

2. Remove from the heat and, using a slotted spoon, transfer the pork to a plate. Continue to simmer the cooking liquid until it is reduced to a glaze consistency. When the pork is cool enough to handle,use two forks or your fingers to shred it. Transfer the pork to a heatproof bowl and pour the reduced cooking liquid over the meat.

3. MAKE THE KRAUT: In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, honey and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, put the cabbage in a heatproof bowl. When the liquid is boiling, remove from the heat, pour over the cabbage, and stir and toss to coat evenly. Let cool in the liquid.

4. MAKE THE ORANGE SAUCE: In a small saucepan, bring the orange juice to a boil over high heat and then simmer for about 20 minutes, until reduced to a syrupy consistency. Let cool and thentransfer to a blender. Add the mayonnaise and mustard; process until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and fold in the orange zest.

5. ASSEMBLE THE SANDWICHES: Line up half of the bread slices on a work surface. Spread each slice with 1 tablespoon of the orange sauce, then top with 1 cheese slice, one-fourth of the pork, a small mound of the kraut, 3 or 4 pickle slices and a second cheese slice. Close the sandwiches with the remaining bread slices.

6. Line a large platter with paper towels. In a skillet over high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter.Reduce the heat to low, add a sandwich to the skillet and cook, turning once, for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until the bread is browned and crisp on both sides and the cheese is melted. Transfer to the prepared platter to blot the excess grease. Repeat with the remaining butter and sandwiches.

Nutrition Facts
  • Pork

  • 540 calories

  • 30g fat

  • 22g carbs

  • 44g protein

  • 11g sugars

  • Red Cabbage Kraut

  • 217 calories

  • 0g fat

  • 51g carbs

  • 3g protein

  • 43g sugars

  • Orange Sauce

  • 290 calories

  • 24g fat

  • 19g carbs

  • 2g protein

  • 14g sugars

  • Sandwiches

  • 493 calories

  • 40g fat

  • 27g protein

  • 1g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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