Joe's Special (Ground Beef, Spinach & Eggs)

"According to my cookbooks, Joe's Special is a San Francisco specialty dating to the 1920's. I have seen several versions; what they all have in common is ground beef, spinach and eggs. This is not fancy, but it makes a great main dish for a light supper or brunch. I like to serve this with toasted Beer Bread and a fresh fruit salad."
photo by sloe cooker photo by sloe cooker
photo by sloe cooker
photo by sloe cooker photo by sloe cooker
photo by Marie Nixon photo by Marie Nixon
Ready In:




  • Beat the eggs and set aside for step 7.
  • Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.
  • When the butter has melted, add the ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crumbly.
  • Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is tender but not browned.
  • Stir in the spinach, basil, oregano and nutmeg.
  • If using fresh spinach, cook until the spinach wilts.
  • Add the beaten eggs to the beef/spinach mixture and cook until the eggs are set, about 3 minutes.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

Questions & Replies

  1. What is a good side dish to make with this? Thank you for your suggestion


  1. This is a family favorite. My mom's family is from San Francisco, and my grandmother went to Marine Joe's restaurant (back in the 60s) a LOT! This was a specialty Joe created, grandma got the recipe from him, and we have been eating it in my family ever since.
  2. Finally! This is the authentic Joe's Special that I remember. All the others are bogus. No oregano? Are you kidding? This is it!
  3. It’s great and like the original that I’ve made for years. Our family loves garlic so we double up on that. This recipe is super versatile, add more or less eggs, meat, seasonings, etc. it’s perfect as is, though!
  4. Like some others, I have been eating a 'New Joe's' since at least the 60s. I believe it orginiated in Marin County at 'Joe's' restaurant. Anyway, I almost like this better with fresh zucchini rather than spinach, and it's a great way to use the excess zucchini from your garden. A little bit of Parmesan cheese on it accompanied with a toasted french roll and you have a quick dinner.
  5. Not quite the same recipe I used in the mid 60s but pretty close. Still prefer mine. 1 fist sized onion,chopped, 2/3 cloves garlic chopped, (1-2 stLks celery chopped),1/2 to 1 green bell pepper chopped,..sauté all til tender. Add 1-2 lbs ground chicken /Italian sausage or your choice and sauté til cooked....add 1/2 to 1lb fresh or frozen Spinach and sauté til wilted (or water is gone if frozen)....add 4 or more eggs and let them set til done as you like and mix into the rest( sooner makes them disappear into the stuff...longer will leave bits and chunks of egg) .use salt and or pepper during cooking as desired.....Italian herbs are Fantastic,curry powder is great, use you ur imagination! This stuff is great,make it yours with your own touches. Serve with rice ....add tomato sauce to left overs and make Make spaghetti...


  1. This is great! I added two more eggs. I also sauteed the onions and garlic and spices all together with the beef.
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