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Nov 20, 2011 03:16 PM

food safety question

I would like to do as much of the prep for the big meal ahead of time as is safely possible. I am serving a roulade of turkey breast meat, The stuffing is raw pork sausage, with egg, bread, giblets and stirfried onion & celery, which you mix together, roll into a plastic-wrapped log and chill before unwrappping. you then wrap the stuffing in the breast and some bacon. The recipe is Boulud's from the NY Times.
Do you think that I can do it the night before and refrigerate until ready to cook, or even the morning of, or would that be too risky.


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  1. raw sausage, egg and giblets may be somebody's nightmare of a petri dish sitting overnight. i'd cook the celery and onions, get the pork measured out and chill that stuff overnight. combine everything in the morning. chill for an hour or so and then go.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Not if you refrigerate it properly.

      The trick to doing this in the safest way possible is just to get the temp down quickly for the overnight refrigeration and then making sure it is fully cooked in the middle before serving.

      The stir-fried vegetables will make the filling warm, but you can cool it down by cooling the mix before stuffing the turkey and/or submerging the plastic-wrapped log in an ice bath for a while before putting it in the fridge. Nothing to worry about if you use good safe technique.

    2. After doing the required cooking of those ingredients requiring it, I would make sure all ingredients are VERY cold before mixing the stuffing. I would then wrap as directed and then get it back under refrigeration quickly. I wouldn't stuff the breast until I was ready to begin cooking it. As far as food safety, I'd use the highest safe cooking temperature for the ingredients. Because USDA recommendations for pork are 160 degrees and for turkey 165 degrees,
      I'd opt for the 165 degree mark.

      2 Replies
      1. re: todao

        darn - i was hoping against hope that someone would tell me that mixing & combining cold ingredients and keeping them in the fridge would be no more dangerous than keeping them unmixed in the fridge.
        Alas, making the stuffing is easy - its the stuffing and rolling and tying that is going to be a pain (& something that is likely to inspire non-celebratory language that I would prefer my guests not to hear!). But thanks anyway!

        1. re: badrockandroll

          The danger you expose your ingredients to is essentially the fact that they've been handled before you got them and in preparing the dish for cooking you introduce them to additional handling. Every phase of handling exposes them to another possibility of contamination and, your words, it's a "food safety question". The roulade process is a piece of cake. All you need to do is mix the ingredients, form them into a relatively tight ball then roll it out into a rough log on plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap as a foundation for rolling a tighter roll, put the roll onto the breast (which I assume you will pound to flatten) and repeat the plastic wrap trick.
          Sounds like a nice way to serve a turkey breast.