I am making meatballs (among other things) for a lunch at work on Thursday. I want to cook them on Thursday, but I’m trying to get as much pre-prep done as I possibly can. Does anyone know if I can “pre-roll” the meatballs tonight and then store them safely in the fridge until Thursday, or if they MUST be pre-cooked? There is a minor amount of egg in the meatballs as a binder.
I probably wouldn’t. The only guidelines I see online suggest 2-4 days for a raw egg out of the shell. Ground beef gets 1-2 days. I think those are pretty conservative, but mix that egg in with raw meat and other stuff, that’s just going to make the shelf life shorter.
Then you bring it into work, where you have less temperature control than normal. I’d not push my luck on the deal, go fresher than normal when you have to travel with food.
Stick them in the freezer if you’re worried.
You are probably OK. Especially if you keep everything cold while making the meatballs, and make sure everything is properly cooked. But you’ll probaly be better off just cooking the meatballs and the sauce ahead of time. Why not make the meatballs Wednesday night and leave them in the fridge overnight to cook Thursday. Letting meatballs sit overnight to firm up before cooking is fairly common. If I had to make them today for Thursday I’d do what Chefguy suggests, freeze them.
Put them in the freezer. I can’t speak to the safety of putting them in the fridge but I could see them drying out.