The thought of meatloaf usually has kids and adults alike sighing a groan. I never really had meatloaf growing up, despite my mother’s love affair with ketchup, so I don’t really have any childhood traumatic experiences with it or corn flakes. I can say, however, that this is definitely not your momma’s meatloaf. Between the curry and the chutney, it packs a little spice and a lot of flavor. If your venison happens to be extra gamey this season, maybe go a little heavy on the curry.

Can I just see the recipe already?


When looking for meat loaf recipes to use with wild game, look for recipes that call for the 90-some-odd percent lean ground beef as they will already have a way to keep it all stuck together and keep it from drying out.


Raw meat is really difficult to photograph.

The original recipe uses black rice (which you can pay a bundle for at most grocery stores or pay the same bundle for a bigger bag at the Asian grocer). For this recipe I switched it up and used brown sweet rice, but honestly it didn’t stick together quite as well so I would suggest springing for the black rice. It does indeed add a nice nutty flavor. You can also use plain brown or white rice and it will work out just fine.

Cocoa Curry Meatloaf with Fig Chutney
  • 1/2 cup Brown or black rice
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 Zucchini grated
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced
  • 1 Medium yellow onion finely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery finely chopped
  • 1.5 tablespoons cocoa curry powder Or 1 T curry powder, 1/2 T cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 lb ground venison or other game
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 cup Fig Chutney (or any chutney really; I like how the fig goes with the cocoa
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine the rice and water and cook until done, about 20 minutes. Let stand covered another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, press a paper towel on the grated zucchini to soak up any excess moisture.
  2. Heat the oil over medium in a pan. Add the onion, a pinch of salt and sauté until it just starts to turn translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and give it a few stirs, cooking until fragrant (about a minute). Add the rest of the vegetables and cook until softened. Add the curry, Worcestershire and more salt to taste and stir to combine. Set aside to cool.
  3. Put the rice on a cutting board and roughly chop it up. Preheat the oven to 350, line a cookie sheet with foil and spray it with pan spray. Yes, this is a free-form hippie meatloaf; no "loaf pan" required. This is also a good time to beat your egg if you're not one of those "get all the ingredients ready first" type of chefs.
  4. Combine meat, vegetable mixture and egg. Dump it onto the pan and form it into a rectangular loaf. Really it doesn't need to be a rectangle if you want to get all artsy and make it into a circle or a heart. Top with about half the chutney.
  5. Cook for about 1-1 1/4 hours, until a thermometer reads 165 degrees or it's not pink in the middle. Let cool for about 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with the rest of the chutney for people to put on top if they want.
Recipe Notes

Non-game substitution: You can use pretty much any ground meat, but the recipe is geared towards something lean so feel free to try it with something on the leaner side, like ground turkey or chicken.


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