If you like lamb, you will love this Moroccan meatloaf! If you don't like lamb, I'm willing to bet this meatloaf will convert you.
This meatloaf is superb — flavored with classic Moroccan spices with speckles of cilantro and mint. You can top it with a simple pomegranate molasses sauce, or skip the topping all together.
This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe for Moroccan Meatloaf in the Niman Ranch Cookbook from Chef Monica Pope, of T'Afia in Houston, Texas.
I've made it a few times over the years and have recently changed up the spice mix and the topping a bit from the original recipe. Rather than using curry powder, which the original recipe called for (and which is unusual in Moroccan cuisine), I've opted for some coriander and a little more cinnamon.
I've simplified the sauce from the original, which included chipotle in adobo. I now just mix some ketchup and pomegranate molasses together in a 2:1 ratio and add a little chipotle chili powder. It's delicious, and works perfectly with the meatloaf. Again, you can omit the sauce if you want.
A mini-chopper or food processor works well to finely chop the carrot, celery, and onion.
- 2 lbs ground lamb
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 large celery stalk, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger (3-inch piece)
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt (or a teaspoon of sea salt)
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of saffron threads
- 1 cup dried breadcrumbs
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
- Pomegranate molasses Sauce:
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
- 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle chili powder (more to taste)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the lamb and beef in a large bowl:
Sauté onions, carrot, celery, garlic:
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
Add the salt, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, ground coriander, cayenne, pepper, and saffron. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes to release the flavors. Remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
Make meatloaf mixture:
Stir the vegetables into the ground meat. Mix in the breadcrumbs, eggs, cilantro, and mint.
Place meatloaf mixture into loaf pan:
Pack meatloaf mixture into a 5x9 or 4x8 loaf pan. If using a 4x8 pan, you'll need to mound the mixture high in the pan. Set the loaf pan in a baking pan. Pour about 1/2 inch of hot water into the baking pan so it comes up the sides of the loaf pan a bit.
Bake the meatloaf for 1 1/2 hours, or until firm and cooked through. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Un-mold onto a plate and slice.
Serve with pomegranate molasses sauce, ketchup, or just the drippings from the meatloaf itself. Very good served with rice pilaf.
Make the (optional) pomegranate molasses sauce:
Mix the ketchup, pomegranate molasses, and chipotle chili powder in a small bowl. Heat in a microwave or warm in a saucepan until just warm.