Smoked Pork Leg Pastrami Cubano with Sweet and Spicy Mustard BBQ Sauce


  • 1 pork leg outside muscle
  • Pan de agua or soft Cuban bread as needed
  • Sweet and Spicy Mustard BBQ Sauce as needed
  • Pickles as needed
  • Roasted and shaved pork loin as needed
  • Swiss cheese or white cheese, as needed

Pastrami Brine

  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cure salt #1
  • 1 TBL black pepper
  • 5 TBL pickling spice
  • 4 cloves garlic smashed

Pastrami Rub

  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup coriander
  • 2 TBL black pepper butcher-grind
  • 2 TBL sweet paprika
  • 2 TBL granulated garlic
  • 1 1/2 TBL granulated onion
  • 2 TBL Coleman's mustard powder
  • 2 TBL light brown sugar

Sweet and Spicy Mustard BBQ Sauce

  • 2 cups yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons granulated onion
  • 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Frank's® RedHot® Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  1. For the pork: Place cleaned and tied pork in Pastrami Brine. Using a meat syringe, inject with 8 oz. of brine and cure for 5-7 days 
  2. For the Pastrami Brine: In a large non-reactive container, combine all Pastrami Brine ingredients and mix until completely dissolved. Yields 1 gallon. 
  3. After a week of curing, remove tied pork and transfer to a nonreactive container of water. Let sit overnight to help remove some salinity from pork 
  4. After soaking, remove pork from container, dry off and let sit at room temperature for one hour to air dry and temper. While pork is tempering, preheat smoker to 250ºF and add one chunk of cherry wood or one cup soaked chips  
  5. For the Pastrami Rub: Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Transfer to airtight container until ready to use. Yields 1 1/2 cups 
  6. Season brined pork with Pastrami Rub and let sit for 15 minutes. Place pork in smoker and cook low and slow, adding wood as desired for about 2½ hours or until internal temperature reaches 145ºF. Remove from smoker and let pork pastrami rest for 30 minutes before slicing  
  7. For the Sweet and Spicy Mustard BBQ Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a nonreactive container and whisk. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to use. Yields 3 1/2 cups

Yields 8-10 Servings

To serve: Slather inside of bottom and top buns with Sweet and Spicy Mustard BBQ Sauce. Layer pickles, sliced pork pastrami, shaved pork loin, and cheese. On a griddle, press sandwich until cheese is melted. Serve with pickled mustard seeds and plantain chips
Suggested Beverage Pairing: Rose or IPA
Recipe courtesy of Matt Abdoo Pig Bleecker, Brooklyn, NY