Joe's Special Beef Fritatta Recipe

  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 1 fritatta (4 servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
667 Calories
33g Fat
20g Carbs
71g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Don McDiarmid writes:
"Every Joe's restaurant I've eaten in has Joe's special, but I have no idea who was the 'first' to feature it. Heck, my story sounds as good as the rest of them.

Some say this famous San Francisco specialty was devised by a San Francisco chef as a variation on the Italian frittata. Others insist it was created as an after-hours snack by dance-band musicians of the 1920's (my Dad went with this one). A third theory attributes the dish to miners who frequented the city's riotous Barbary Coast district in the 1850's."

Whatever its origin may be, this hearty mixture of beef, onions, spinach and eggs makes a satisfying meal anytime, day or night.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 medium onions (finely chopped)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely minced)
  • Optional: 1/2 pound mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed dry; or 1/2 pound fresh spinach, rinsed, stems removed and leaves chopped)
  • 4 to 6 large eggs (lightly beaten)

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat oil in a wide frying pan over high heat.

  2. Crumble in beef and cook, stirring often, until browned. Drain excess fat.

  3. Add onions, garlic, and mushrooms; reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened about 5 minutes.

  4. Stir in salt, nutmeg, pepper, oregano, and spinach; cook for about 5 more minutes. Add beaten eggs.

  5. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, just until eggs are softly set.

  6. Serve with plenty of grated Parmesan cheese and perhaps hard crust Italian sourdough bread.

Don doesn't say anything about what to drink with Joe's Special. I'd open a good beer, probably an India Pale Ale.