Legend has it that the “Joe’s Special” was invented late one night at a Joe‘s Restaurant in San Francisco. A hungry musician ordered a spinach omelet after hours but asked the chef to add something to make the eggs more substantial. The chef said he had some hamburger meat left over from the dinner hour and added it in. Today, all around San Francisco, there are Joe’s restaurants serving this dish and claiming that they are “not associated with any other ‘Joe’s’ restaurants.” In my version of this easy, one-dish meal, I threw in some chorizo (spicy Spanish sausage) because that’s also what I had on hand, leftover from a previous dinner hour.
Joe’s Special (Eggs with ground beef and spinach)
An easy one-dish meal made with eggs, spinach, ground beef, and chorizo.
1/2 teaspoon freshly milled black pepper or more to taste
500 g. (ca. 1 lb.) ground beef
5 cm (ca. 2 inch) piece of chorizo sausage, peeled and finely diced
1 large onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
500 g. (1 lb.) fresh baby spinach or ca. 250 g. (9 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and add the hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
Brown the ground beef along with the chorizo in a large skillet over medium heat. Break the meat into small pieces as it cooks.
When the ground beef is completely browned (no remaining pink) and has released enough fat, add the onion and garlic to the pan. Continue cooking until the garlic has softened and the onion is translucent. (At this point, I removed a portion to a separate pan to serve the kids, who don’t eat spinach. I skipped the following step and finished cooking their meal in the second pan, following the step below that.)
Cover with the spinach, place a lid over the mixture, and cook for about 3 minutes, just until the spinach wilts. (If using frozen spinach, cook, covered, for 1 minute, just to take off its raw edge.) Stir the spinach into the meat, cooking briefly until it wilts. Pour off any excess fat and water.
Push the meat mixture to one side of the pan and pour the egg mixture into the empty side. As the eggs begin to set, begin mixing them into the meat mixture. Remove from the heat and stir a few more times, as the eggs cook through from the residual heat. Serve immediately.