In Nigella’s book, “Nigella Christmas”, she makes a rolled stuffed loin of pork. The loin is flattened, stuffing is laid upon it, and it is then rolled, wrapped in bacon and tied with string to keep it together.

Nigella has lots of “Make Ahead Tips” in the sidebars of this book, which is great for Christmas, because there is a lot to do. For this, the tip is:

Stuff and roll the look up to 6 hours ahead. Keep covered in the fridge. Allow 20 minutes at room temperature before putting in the oven.

My question is why only 6 hours? Ideally I’d like to do this the day before, leave it overnight in the fridge, and cook it the next day. Is there a reason why I shouldn’t stuff the pork, say, 24 hours before cooking it?

Online version of the recipe is here: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/food/article-6460141/Christmas-Nigella-Rolled-stuff-loin-pork-rubied-gravy.html

Final product

  • the online version doesn't mention 6 hours anywhere
    – Luciano
    Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 10:22
  • @luciano Yes, this is in the sidebar in the book. Must have been missed out of the online version. I added this link for reference. I haven’t actually read the whole online recipe, tbh - I don’t know if it mentions advance prep at all. I don’t think it does. Commented Jan 11, 2023 at 10:28

2 Answers 2


There is no generic reason to not do it earlier, in the sense that there are e.g. no food safety rules against it.

We cannot know why this advice was printed in the book. Ideally, the production team tested the recipe extensively, recognized a decline in quality after a long stay in the fridge, and determined that six hours still produces a very good roast. There are also other, less charitable explanations. We cannot know which was the real one, and, if there is a quality reduction, if it is not still acceptable to your personal taste.

So, in the end, you can only try it out and decide if it works for you with a longer resting time, or not. Luckily, there are no reasons to speak against such a test, and the worst risk you take is eating a subpar roast once.

  • Thank you. Always good to know I won't be killing off my guests. Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 9:58

Your recipe mentions a marinade:

Put all the marinade ingredients into a large freezer bag, with the opened, flattened loin. Leave the bag overnight in the fridge (in a lasagne-type dish) or just while you are making the stuffing and waiting for it to cool.

I suppose the 6 hour limit you're asking has to do with the marination: it will continue to change the meat texture if you do it too far ahead of cooking, even after you remove the meat from the bag. Also it might impart some of that flavor on the stuffing, which you might not want.

  • 1
    So difficult to choose an answer to accept when both of these answers are excellent. I had to toss a coin in the end. Thank you for your help. The marinade is an excellent point, and I will bear that in mind if I do decide to try this with a longer rest before cooking. Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 9:58
  • @bornfromanegg no worries, glad that both answers were helpful!
    – Luciano
    Commented Jan 17, 2023 at 11:09

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