Joe’s Special is a dish that originated in San Francisco. This was a hangover cure concocted by a chef, probably at New Joe’s in North Beach, but popularized by Original Joe’s in the Tenderloin. It always includes eggs, spinach and ground beef. Other common ingredients include onions, garlic and sometimes mushrooms, and various spices. It is a scramble, but spinach is the big star here. It takes awhile to fix, but it’s absolutely great.
Here’s what purports to be the “original” recipe as relayed by Original Joe’s. Heck, it works for me:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2/3 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 pound freshly ground chuck
- 3/4 cup frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry and finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning, or 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano + 1/8 teaspoon dried basil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 eggs
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese to taste
Now the process:
Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the onion and cook over medium-high heat, stirring from time to time, until it just starts to brown. Add the meat and saute, stirring, until it just loses its pink color. Add the spinach to the pan and stir it in. Add the Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Break the eggs into a bowl and beat with a fork to blend. Add to the center of the skillet and scramble with the beef mixture. Serve topped with a sprinkling of Parmesan.
If you’re going to be a true San Franciscan, serve it with fresh sourdough French bread.