Cuban pan con bistec

A pan con bistec is a Cuban-style steak sandwich found in restaurants and cafeterias all over my little corner of the world. This is not just any steak sandwich though. The star of this sandwich is the thinly sliced and well marinated steak. topped with sauteed onions, shredded lettuce, thin sliced tomatoes and potato sticks.




  1. Taking one steak at a time, place it in a 1 gallon Ziploc bag. Using a mallet pound the meat to the desired thickness. This will also help to tenderize the meat. Repeat for all four pieces.
  2. Place meat slices in a large bowl or baking dish. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to 1 tbsp of olive oil distributing evenly on all slices.
  3. In a bowl, mix the lemon juice, orange juice, salt and pepper. Pour the marinade over the steaks. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 8 hours.
  4. When ready to cook, remove the steaks from the refrigerator and allow to sit out for about 15 minutes to come to room temperature.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy-bottom skillet, preferably cast iron.
  6. Remove steaks from the bowl, one at a time, allowing all the excess juices from the marinade to drip back into the bowl. Place two steaks at a time into the skillet. The steaks are very thin and will only need to cook for a couple of minutes on either side. Remove the steaks from the skillet and onto a plate to rest.
  7. Add the second tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Repeat step 6 with the final two steaks.
  8. If sauteing the onions, add them to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes. Then pour the onions and juices from the pan over the steaks.
  9. Cut the Cuban loaf in four equal pieces. Slice each piece in half along its length making sure not to go all the way so the two pieces are still attached.
  10. Place a steak slice over the bottom half of the Cuban bread and top with the onions. Then add the lettuce, followed by the tomatoes. Finish it off with a handful of potato sticks.
  11. Spread mayonnaise on the top half of the bread before closing it.


Marinate the steaks overnight when possible, but if you’re putting this together last minute, just give them 30 minutes in the marinade and they’ll still be delicious.

For any leftover steaks they can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours in an airtight container.  Any longer and the meat may dry out because it’s so thin.

Build the sandwich when you’re ready to eat.  This will avoid the bread from getting soggy.

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