Pan con lechon is the BEST way to use leftover Cuban roast pork. But pan con lechon does not play second fiddle to Cuban roast pork. It’s a popular Cuban dish in its own right, and you’ll find it on the menu in all Cuban restaurants. You’ll often see it served at Cuban parties, too. I love to make pork sliders with my leftover pork. Also, I have a thing about tapas and mini sandwiches. 🥪😍
Cuban Roast Pork With Mojo
The star of pan con lechon is Cuban roast pork. Bone-in pork shoulder is marinated with mojo overnight and then slowly roasted for hours until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees, and the skin is crispy and worth fighting over (let’s get some crackling!!). This dish is also known as lechon asado, and it’s served with congri and yuca.
You always make enough roast pork for leftovers. This is a cardinal rule. You can even skip the rice and yuca and go straight to making pan con lechon. That’s a popular dish for parties.
Pan Con Lechon Time!
Cuban roast pork is usually served for Christmas Eve (Noche Buena) or other celebrations. So, the day after, no one wants to spend quality time in their kitchen, unless it’s for eating. That’s why Pan con lechon is perfect, because it’s quick and easy to make with the leftovers. It’s so, so good! It’s the best leftover pork roast recipe you’ll ever make. Seriously. I know Cubans exaggerate it, but not this time, I promise.
You can make this with any leftover roast pork, it doesn’t have to be Cuban, although I’m partial. What makes this dish taste so good is that the leftover pork is chopped and seared in the skillet and then finished with extra mojo sauce and sautéed onions. Mojo is a marinade and finishing sauce made with sour oranges and lots of garlic. If you can’t find sour oranges, you can use half lime and half orange juice to make it.
Another thing I love about this dish is that it doesn’t require a recipe, you can throw the stuff together, and the amount of mojo and onions you used is to taste. But don’t worry… I got a recipe for ya, to make it easy. 😉
The pan in pan con lechon is Cuban bread. If you can’t find it, you can use sub rolls. Or, you can serve it on slider buns as I did for this post. Chances are you’re still in party mode anyway. 💃🕺
The best part is everyone gathering in the kitchen to hang out, making jokes, and teasing each other. Cubans love to tease each other!
How can pan con lechon be even better? Pair it with a side of yuca fries made with leftover yuca with mojo. This Cuban combo is classic! If you’ve never had fried yuca, think of them as a crunchier and creamier version of regular fries. Yuca is a dense and starchy root vegetable that’s boiled and served with mojo and onions, usually with roast pork. The leftover yuca is then cut into planks, fried, and served with pan con lechon on Day 2.Print
Pan con lechon is made with leftover pork roast sautéed in a pan with mojo sauce and onions and served on Cuban bread. It’s great as pork sliders for appetizers or pan con lechon sandwiches for lunch. Yum!
1 lb leftover Cuban Roast Pork, roughly chopped or shredded (see note)
1 yellow or white onion, thinly sliced
4 sour oranges (see note)
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 loaf Cuban Bread (see note)
Dash of cumin and oregano (totally optional, but I like it)
Roughly chop the pork leftovers and squeeze the sour oranges to get about a half cup of juice. If you can’t find sour oranges, use 1/4 cup each of fresh squeezed lime juice and orange juice.
Heat a skillet (cast iron is preferred) over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the skillet and sauté the pork until cooked through and crispy on the ends. The best way to do this is to let the pork cook for a few minutes on one side and then turn the pieces over and let the other side crisp up a bit. The amount of crispy edges is a matter of taste so cook more or less to get the desired texture. Remove from skillet, leaving the drippings.
Add enough olive oil to coat the skillet and add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the heat and add the sour orange juice and salt and pepper to taste. You can also add a dash of cumin and oregano, if you like. (Mami doesn’t but she’s not watching!)
Heap the pork on the bread and top with the mojo and onions sauce.
If you don’t have Cuban roast pork, you can use any leftover roast pork you have on hand.
Sour oranges can be found at Latin markets. But if you can’t find them, substitute with equal parts fresh squeezed lime juice and orange juice. Do not use lemons, though. You want that limey punch! If you do find the sour oranges, I’m having you get a few extras because they don’t always have enough juice (the juice yield can be a bit hit or miss.) If they’re juicy you won’t need to use all four.
Cuban bread can be found at Latin markets. But if you can’t find it, you can substitute sub rolls or slider buns.
The yield is all going to depend on what type of bread you use. But if you use slider buns, I add just under two ounces of pork to each. So you could make nine slider buns or four pork sandwiches. Of course, you may have more than 1 pound of meat. In that case, make a little more mojo and onions and invite me over!
- Serving Size: 1 slider bun
Keywords: Pan con lechon, roast pork sandwich, leftover pork roast recipes, pork sliders, Cuban roast pork, yuca fries