The Gourmet Chili Steak Burger


I know many are bugging me here and there to blog about the specifics I’ve gleaned over the last six weeks or so using the LoseIt! app, combined with my FitBit. Thing is, I learned so much in practice that I’ve been doing a lot of study and reading so I can explain it with the theory. The fact is that everyone focusses so much on Carbs vs. Fats, it drowns out—what I consider the most important factor—protein. But I’ve found lots of stuff. I trust it to be worthwhile. Patience.

Yesterday was an insanely high protein day at 251 grams and a scant seven grams of carbohydrate. However, notice the bar graphs. The day prior was 177 grams of carbohydrate. And this morning, after a 15-hour overnight and morning fast (from the last calorie to the first calorie—a fast is fucking ZERO CALORIES or it’s not a fast) my breakfast meal alone was 118 grams of carbohydrate. My average daily protein intake is around 200 grams.


In the meantime, I have been cooking my ass off. This meal last night was so good that I’m shoving it to the head of the line.

If you haven’t watched my short instructional video on how to make a sauce reduction that I put up yesterday, it’s rather prerequisite. In this case, rather than reduce to a thick, syrupy sauce, we’re reducing by 3/4. The other thing we’re doing is not straining out the medium-fine chopped onion because this is a Texas-style chili sauce.


Think about a bowl of Texas chili, beans or no beans, and just the soupy part of it with only the chunks of onion. So, we reduce it by only 3/4. In this case, for a single portion big steak burger, it’s 2 cups of Kitchen Basics Unsalted Beef Stock reduced to 1/2 cup, then add the chili powder—about 1 TBS in this case—which thickens the reduction somewhat. For a spicier hot variation, you can sprinkle cayenne pepper to taste. Feel free to finish this even before you cook the steak burger. My favorite way to keep it is to cover the sauce pan and set it next to, not over, a burner set to low—then you fire it on high for a minute before pouring over your grilled masterpiece.

Now we need a big-ass fucking steak burger, no skimping.


That’s 85/15 grass fed ground chuck, and a whole friggin’ pound of it. No sniveling; but if it eases your mind, cooking it medium rare rendered it down to a meager 11 1/2 ounces of hot-grilled and charred deliciousness.

After a few minutes of rest coming off the grill, we’re ready to plate.


You’re absolutely going to want to garnish with some shredded cheddar and chopped green onions. OK, I suppose fresh yellow onion will do in a pinch and afford some of that nice crunchiness. Or do both.

The sauce is the crazy good part of it. Yes, it does have the chili flavor there from a bowl of the stuff. But, in no bowl of chili are you going to find the depth of flavor that comes from 3/4 reduced beef stock as the base.

Don’t fuck up cooking your steak burger. Medium rare, please.


Now, y’all git out there and geet ‘er done!

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Robert on June 2, 2017 at 00:28

    250 g of protein? That’s super impressive. I sure struggle to get to 150 g on my almost 2000 kcal budget. I’ve read somewhere that after 1.5 g protein / kg body weight it’s diminishing returns for muscle building. So for me that’s around 120 g per day. But of course, for muscle sparing weight loss, it might be a different story. Is it really the more the better with protein? We all look forward to your full posts on the matter.

    • linkdrop on June 2, 2017 at 01:33

      I too look forward to Richard’s full post on the matter. I suspect this might be a revelation of sorts.

      I have benefited greatly from Richard’s many, many experiments. I have been around long enough to remember Art’s very first paleo seminar which Richard attended, the Paleo War (TM), tiger nuts, potatoes, Jack Kruze, Martin Berkhan’s and Lean Gains, cold water baths, no soap, no shampoo, the Mexican adventure, fat bread, gut bugs and the list goes on. For this enlightenment I have paid Richard no more than a few Amazon royalties and a purchased a few boxes of Elixa. Excellent value all round Richard. A decade or more of entertainment and knowledge for a few bucks. I hope you feel this transaction has been good for you too.

      Perhaps if this protein thing works out good and proper (ie: you get shredded), you can write a book on along the lines of “A decade of diet experiments – what Angry Dick has learnt”?

    • linkdrop on June 2, 2017 at 01:38

      Oh, and include some recipes in your next book – you are without exception, the only diet guru I know that truly understands the basics of good classical french cookery. You not only speak French, you cook that shit too! I have had professional training in classical french cookery, so I would like to think I know.

    • linkdrop on June 2, 2017 at 01:44

      Your book could be a survival guide for men entering middle age even. You have freed yourself from the shackles of a 9-5 job and made huge improvements to your health. Both things that many middle aged men I know wish they had.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 2, 2017 at 07:54

      I’m not doing it for hypertrophy as of yet. I’m doing it to protect lean mass in cal def, and also to kick the shit out of hunger.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 2, 2017 at 08:02

      Thanks, linkdrop. Some mighty good thoughts and suggestions there.

      Thanks for sticking around through the good, the bad, and the ugly. 😉

  2. Nocona on June 3, 2017 at 13:07

    Damn, I’m gonna make this tomorrow. I just ate, but that picture still made me mess my nappies. It’ll last me three days. Yup, 250g of protein will surely kick your hunger to the gutter, Richard.

    I stay at 10% bodyfat on about 90-100 g’s a day of protein. 5’9″/160. Not trying to gain or lose anything. Maintenance only. Been working for the last 3 years.

  3. Justin Watts on June 3, 2017 at 15:04

    Richard, I use Kitchen Basics like you do. However I just stumbled upon a company called Aneto that makes stock with the cleanest ingredient list I’ve seen yet. Their chicken stock is “water, chicken, onion, carrot, leek, cabbage, celery, salt”. They also make various stocks for paella, even a squid ink base! I’m going to order a couple different ones and give them a try. Forgive the link below, I’m on mobile and came up with a 12-pack on a quick search.

  4. golooraam on June 5, 2017 at 07:07

    I tried a version of this… was just delicious Richard!

    thank you for the great recipe

    great way to throw down a pound of ground beef after a workout…

    I’ve found with ground chuck I don’t need to add any fat to the pan


  5. Doug on June 6, 2017 at 07:56

    I am waiting for Richard’s post on Trump pulling out of Paris deal and the left losing their collective mind.

  6. johnathon on June 13, 2017 at 12:35

    Pound of beef covered in cheese. Sounds like we are venturing into jimmy moore territory.

    • Jenn on June 13, 2017 at 14:01

      Jonathan: Jimmy Moore doesn’t count or acknowledge calories, Richard does. No comparison. I mean, the screen shot of the tracker is right there, so… not an accurate speculation.

    • Richard Nikoley on June 13, 2017 at 12:55

      First of all, who is “we?”

      Second, “sounds like” has got to be amongst the most identifiable weasel words ever and generally means the person saying them doesn’t KNOW WHAT THE FUCK he’s talking about but wants to “sound[] like” he does.

      And you, in particular, have no fucking excuse, because the fucking macro breakdown is right in the fucking post, dumbshit. I’ve attached an updated version because it turned out that the 16 oz grilled rendered to 11.5 oz with fat and moisture loss. The cheese is a measly 1 once, dickwad.

      Either you have no fucking clue what Moore advocates (i.e. <15% protein, >80% fat; calories don’t matter) or you’re an idiot, incapable of critical distinctions.

      In fact, nearly all my days come out to a 600-1,000 kcal deficit. This day, my burn was 2,700 and my consumption was 1,875 for an 825 kcal deficit.

      You’re dismissed, fuckwad, and don’t come back unless you fucking smarten up. I have no patience for lazy-ass fucktards who write one-sentence quips as their first comment on the blog.

      Now go fuck off.

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