If you’re thinking about making some crowd-pleasing game day recipes, you absolutely gotta try these cuban sandwich sloppy joes. Cuban sandwich sloppy joes? Yes. I’ve basically combined one of my favorite sandwiches ever (the cuban sandwich) and married it with one of the most comforting recipes out there: sloppy joes.
Now, while this isn’t your traditional sloppy joe recipe, it can be considered a sloppy joe because a sloppy joe is “a sandwich consisting of ground beef, onions, tomato sauce or ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings, served on a hamburger bun.” For this recipe I’m including Cuban picadillo, which is made with ground beef and pork, onions, peppers, and tomato sauce, then dressed up with golden raisins, chopped up green olives, pine nuts, slivered almonds, and a drizzle of red wine, because Cubans know how to add flavor to just about anything.
One of the best parts about this recipe too is that the cuban sandwich sloppy joe is served on a KING’S HAWAIIAN® bun, and we all know how amazing their bread products are–they totally elevate this game day menu! Can you say #GameTimeGrilling? Since HEB is my go-to for all KING’S HAWAIIAN® essentials, I go to HEB Westlake to pick up all the necessary ingredients, and enjoy samples from all the cooking demos and of course a trip to HEB Westlake isn’t complete without trying a few items from the bulk section ;). I digress.
First I’m going to break this recipe down by how to make the Cuban picadillo first, then how to make the Cuban Sandwich part with the picadillo added to the top.
Picadillo Cubano Ingredients AKA sloppy joes
Each pound of ground meat will top 4 sandwiches. Total cooking time is an estimated 45 minutes:
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2 green bell peppers
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup capers
- 1/4 cup sliced green olives
- 1/4 cup golden raisins (I keep them out but a lot of people love them)
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
Picadillo Cubano Directions
- In a blender or food processor, puree the onion, green bell peppers, and the clove of garlic until they’re nice and chopped up and well blended. You may want to chop up the vegetables first to make the process easier on the blender, and you can also add some chicken stock or water to ease the blending process. Add a little bit of salt and pepper to season.
- In a large non-stick sauté pan, start browning the ground pork and the ground beef together, making sure to break up the meat so that it’s not in large clumps. I typically don’t add any oil since the pork and the beef release their delicious and aromatic juices.
- Once your meat is all browned, add the mojo or onion/green pepper/garlic puree, and mix it in well until it’s completely absorbed by the meat. This takes a couple of minutes, make sure to incorporate it well until you see just a few specks of green, and the liquid evaporates.
- Once that happens, pour the tomato sauce over the ground meat, again making sure to incorporate it well, until the contents of the sauté pan are all browned again. At this point, stick in the bay leaf to infuse the mixture while you brown the contents of the pan.
- Once the meat is browned, pour in first 1/3 cup of the wine, pour yourself a glass, and cook through the meat until the alcohol evaporates. At this point you may want to taste the meat and see how the wine taste is as well as determine if you need to add more salt/pepper.
- Once the wine is incorporated, add the raisins if you’re going to add them in, along with the olives and capers, and make sure to mix everything well until the extra ingredients are warm. Once they’re heated through, add the pine nuts and the slivered almonds right as you’re turning off the stove, and at this point you can remove the bay leaf.
Cuban Sandwich Ingredients:
- two packages of KING’S HAWAIIAN® Deluxe Hamburger buns (or one packet of 4 per pound of ground meat)
- two packages of smoked ham (about 2 slices per sandwich)
- two packages of sliced swiss cheese (or white cheese of your choice, also about 2 slices per sandwich)
- Mustard of your choice–I like the fancy grainy Maille brand, but regular ol’ yellow mustard will do 😉
- a jar of dill pickles for sandwiches (not whole pickles or spears)
How to Assemble Cuban Sandwich Sloppy Joes:
- Grab your first set of buns (insert joke here–I’m so immature)
- open up the buns, slather mustard on the top side, then place your first slice of cheese on the bottom bun
- I like to pan sear (just a few seconds on each side) the two slices ham so that they get a nice sear and are hot enough to melt the swiss cheese below them. Set atop the first slice of swiss cheese and then top with the second slice of swiss cheese
- add pickles as the next layer
- top with a mound of the Cuban picadillo, then top with the top part of the hamburger bun
If you want to be a hero, put this delectable concoction sandwiched between two buns into a panini press or heck, even a George Foreman Grill and press down so you can get a nice toast on the bread and make it look even more like a Cuban sandwich!
This blog post was sponsored by KING’S HAWAIIAN® but the opinions are all my own. #ad
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