Thursday, April 24, 2014

Joe’s Special – A True Original

After the ominous, but delicious, “Hangtown Fry,” Original Joe’s “Joe’s Special” is probably San Francisco’s most famous breakfast. Unless you’re counting the Buena Vista Café’s Irish coffee as breakfast, and now that I think about it, you probably should.

This mammoth plate of food features three eggs, a half-pound of meat, and more than enough spinach. Apparently a late-night patron requested his spinach omelet include a hamburger patty, and this is what happened. In respect to good ol’ made-up “Joe,” I’ve kept the original portions, so feel free to share with a friend or three.

Speaking of mammoth, this should make all you paleo-diet people who keep emailing me happy. Skip the toast and you’re in high-protein/low-carb heaven. As far as the method goes; even a caveman could do it. Just be sure to season generously at each stage, and taste at the end, and you’ll be enjoying a truly delicious, San Francisco original. Enjoy!

Ingredients for one huge portion:
NOTE: This version is mostly meat and spinach, but if you want something closer to a classic scramble, then cup the beef and spinach amounts in half. This is how most restaurants that copy the recipe do it!) 
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup diced onion
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
8 oz lean ground chuck
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped, cooked spinach, squeezed very dry
3 large eggs
1 tsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
Parmigiano-Reggiano to finish the top


Gerry Graham said...

Hi Chef, I noticed you were using a nice stainless steel pan for this one. When I use my stainless for eggs, they stick to the pan. It's a good quality pan with a nice heavy bottom. Any suggestions to help with the sticking problem?

Scott Barber said...

I only lived in S.F. for 22 years... I guess I'll cut the recipe down a bit. BUT, it sounds and looks delicious!

Chase Saunders said...

"If he did indeed exist, and were alive today.."

Aidann said...

Love the combination of ingredients. Definately going on the menu.

The X-man said...

Just checked Joe's online menu... Mushrooms now cost an extra $3.50!

Chef John really does love us to only charge us $1.00 extra!

Hermommy95 said...

OMG! I grew up eating this dish!! I thought my mom made up the name when I was's name was "Joe". 3rd gen San Franciscan here....and yes, always ate it with a loaf of sourdough French bread while she would be reading Herb Caen's column. Cliche you say? Yes, but we really lived it and ate it, too! Thanks sooo much for posting this. :)

Sherry Bolinger said...

Thanks for the nod to "Paleo People"' Chef John!

Tom C. said...

Loved the "Pro Tip". That's the difference between you and the hacks!

My May said...

This was delicious and I doubled the recipe!

My May said...

I doubled the recipe. It was delicious. Thanks Chef John!

Kristen Bailey said...

my paleo heart is going pitter-patter :) SO delicious. Thanks Chef John!!!

Stephen Owens said...

WOW Chef John... made this for my wife and myself. We shared it and were still full. Tip of the hat to SF residents they own me on eating.

DrChrisE said...

I ate this regularly when I lived in the Marina district. There was an Original Joe's (Marina Joe's) at the corner of Chestnut and Fillmore. The Joe's Special and the Hamburger Sandwich, a 3/4 lb grilled burger on a sourdough loaf, we my staples. Man those were the days!!

Daniel Gill said...

Not to take down a classic dish but, since this is breakfast wouldn't sausage meat be a more logical choice?