Medianoche by Keshia Sakarah

When clubs closed across Havana, cafes stayed open serving these late night snacks which eventually became a Cuban classic. Roasted pork, roast ham, swiss cheese, mustard and pickles were loaded inside … bread, and roasted in a pan with a brick on top – crispy on the outside, jam packed with filling in the middle.

Done in 6 hours

Serves 4

Tom Jackson

Dish by Tom Jackson

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Medianoche is Spanish for 'Midnight'. During the early 1900s following the Spanish-American war in 1898, the sandwich was created and gained its popularity in Havana cafes, as it was often eaten at night after people finished partying at nightclubs, subsequently naming the sandwich. It can be found all over Cuba, varying from place to place. Beyond Cuba, these can be found in Little Havana, Miami.


First, make the mojo criolla. Put the garlic and salt in a pestle and mortar and grind into a paste. Add oregano leaves, oil, black pepper and citrus juices. Mix well, then set aside.

Detach the rind from the fat on the pork shoulder to create a flap between the fat and the skin. Under the flap, directly on the fat, pierce lots of small holes - these holes will absorb the marinade deep into the meat.

Place the pork in a large roasting dish and rub the mojo criolla all over, massaging into the meat all over and under the skin. Leave to marinate overnight in the fridge.

Heat the oven to 160°C fan/gas 4 and cover the meat with a sheet of baking paper then foil over the roasting dish. Seal tightly around the edges so the meat steams.

Roast the pork slowly for 5-6 hours. Once the meat is tender and falls away from the bone easily, remove the foil, turn up the oven to 210°C fan/gas 8 and bake for a further 30-45 minutes to allow the skin to crisp into crackling.

Once baked, leave to cool a little then start on the sandwich. Brush the bread with butter and mustard. Add slices of cheese, ham, and the pork. Top with pickles, then brush the outside of the bread with butter and toast in a pan until the cheese has melted. Slice, and enjoy!

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Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson

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