With the festive season nearly underway, you may have moments where you wish you were more organised and the closer Christmas Day gets, the more panicked you might be about how you’re going to get everything done. So before it all gets too much, take a moment to think about things that you can do now that will set you up for success later.
Your first port of call: make space in your freezer! Getting ahead of the game by making some food in advance is a huge time-saver. Start with stuffing.
You can go two routes here – freezing it uncooked or cooking it first, then freezing and reheating it on the day. Uncooked stuffing can be frozen for up to a month. When you’re ready to use it, pop it straight into the oven at 180⁰C from frozen until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 75⁰C. When reheating stuffing (i.e. if you’ve cooked it already), bake it from frozen. Simply reheat it in a 180⁰C oven covered for 30 minutes, or until it’s warmed through.
- For better food safety, you need not cool the stuffing before spooning it into your meat to cook on the day.
- Don’t place uncooked stuffing in the fridge. If your stuffing is made ahead of time, it must be either frozen or cooked immediately.
- Not all stuffing needs to be cooked inside a piece of meat. They can also be cooked separately in a shallow casserole dish.
Here are a few ideas of what kind of stuffing to make:
Apple and bacon stuffing for pork
Leave out the bacon if you want to keep it a meat-free stuffing.
Spinach stuffing for a lamb shoulder
To make your life even easier, use McCain creamed spinach for the stuffing.
A quick and easy herb stuffing
Fry a chopped onion in some butter or oil until soft before adding in 100g of fresh breadcrumbs and 1 Tbs of freshly chopped herbs like sage or thyme. Bake in a preheated 180⁰C oven for 30 minutes. Once it’s completely cooled, transfer it to your freezer until you’re ready to use it on Christmas Day.