Recipe: Cuban sandwich from Bird's Nest Barbecue

For The Baltimore Sun

Football season is upon us, and with it, tailgates. This year, think outside the traditional burger-and-dog grilling session with Bird’s Nest Barbecue owner Tim Brown’s gooey Cuban sandwiches, served Maryland-style, with pit ham and pulled pork. 

Brown piles sourdough bread high with Swiss cheese, pickles, spicy mustard and, of course, pit ham and pulled pork butt, grilling the sandwiches until they are warm, messy and delicious — perfect fuel for a chilly autumn tailgate. Just don’t forget the napkins. 

Cuban Sandwich

Yield: one sandwich


2 slices sourdough bread

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons spicy
brown mustard

4 thick slices locally made
kosher dill pickle

2 slices Swiss cheese

¼ cup water

2 ounces pit ham

4 ounces pulled pork butt

(Pit ham and pork butt are available for purchase by the pound at Bird’s Nest Barbecue.
Call ahead for pork butt to
ensure availability.)


1. Heat a grill to high.

2. Coat one side of each slice of bread with butter. Spread the unbuttered side of the bread with spicy mustard. 

3. Top one slice with dill pickles, then place one slice of Swiss cheese on each slice of bread.

4. Place the bread slices on the hot grill and cook until the bottom of each slice is golden brown, about three minutes, then remove them from the grill.

5. Fill a lid from a medium-size pot with about ¼ cup of water. Place the pit ham and pulled pork on the grill. Pour the water over the meat, then cover it with the lid. 

6. Let the meat steam for about one minute, until hot.

7. Once the meat is hot, place it on the slice of bread with the pickles. 

8. Top the sandwich with the other slice of bread, cut in half and serve.  

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