Spicy meatloaf molé

Growing up, meatloaf was not necessarily one of my favorite meals. I don’t think my Mom made it very often, but I remember having it at friend’s houses, and not being very impressed. Somehow, I’m not sure why, the dish stuck with me regardless. In the beginning of my kitchen experimentation here in France, it was one of those classic American comfort foods that I knew I could easily reproduce on the other side of the Atlantic without searching for mystery ingredients that were hard to find here. ALthough, from what I gather, most meatloaf is made with meatloaf seasoning packets, I figured it would be easy enough to recreate using what I had in my spice cabinet.

I successfully made a traditional version of this classic on several occasions, improvising what was in the loaf itself, but always finishing with a traditional ketchup and brown sugar glaze. Jé had a hard time at first, but grew to like the sweetness of what I called “gateau de viande,” loosely translated as “meat cake.”


One day, I had an urge to try something a little different. I’d been dying to try out the Mexican staple of chicken or turkey molé, a dish made with dark chocolate and tons of spices. As I flipped through my Food Network magazine devoted entirely to chocolate, I came across a recipe for chocolate marinated steaks, and my mind was made up. The only thing that could make traditional meatloaf better, would be chocolate. I dragged out spice after spice, and left the place of honor to some deep, fragrant cocoa powder, and meatloaf molé was officially born!


Meatloaf molé

1 lb ground beef
1 small onion
3 T cocoa powder
2 T paprika
1 T cumin
1 t allspice
1 t cayenne pepper or piment d’espelette
2 T soy sauce
1 T sea salt
1 t black pepper
3 T honey + 1 T
2 T strong, French mustard
1 egg + 1 yolk
1/4 C oat bran or oatmeal
1/4 C ketchup
2 T brown sugar

You could easily adapt this dish depending on what spices you prefer, and how much of a kick you want it to have. Start by browning your onions in a bit of butter over low heat, about 10 minutes. Add the soy sauce and stir well. Add this mixture to the ground beef in a large bowl. Stir slightly. Next, add in all the spices, salt, pepper, 3 T of honey and mustard and stir to combine. Add the eggs, stirring again, followed by the oats. Adjust seasoning if desired.


Spread the meat mixture into the bottom or a small baking dish, pushing down with a wooden spoon and flattening to make a level loaf. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes before adding the glaze (mixing the remaining honey, ketchup and brown sugar) and baking another 10-15 minutes.



3 thoughts on “Spicy meatloaf molé

  1. Pingback: Steak, pesto and mozzarella grilled cheese | à l'américaine

  2. Pingback: Soupe crémeuse aux pommes de terre, poireaux et lardons avec des amandes frites | à l'américaine

  3. Pingback: Creamy potato, leek and lardon soup with fried almonds | à l'américaine

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