whole food ~ well made

Joe's Special with toast

Dinner 911: Joe’s Special, a Skillet Egg Supper

You probably already have these four ingredients: eggs, mushrooms, spinach and ground beef. If not, they’re easy to get and need little prep.

Put them together in a skillet and you’ve got dinner.

Or is it breakfast? Or breakfast for dinner?

Doesn’t matter because it’s that good. Satisfying and nourishing and seasonal all at the same time.

I have no idea who Joe is (the name comes from the San Francisco restaurant where it purportedly originated). I like calling it Joe’s Special better than hamburger-spinach-egg skillet supper. But that’s what it really is.

Joe's Special cheese topping

So let’s just eat up and get on with things because this, my friends, is one short but busy week!

School is getting out soon. You have deadlines and a garden that’s overdue for planting. Vacations to take, books to read, beaches to comb. I mean, it’s summertime (almost) and everything accelerates from here on out.

So, let’s do this.

A Quick Skillet Supper

All you do is pull out your favorite skillet. Mine is cast iron. I bought it from my friend Pam at her yard sale before we were friends.

It weighs a ton but it never sticks. {She knows how to season cast iron since she was a sheepherder for two years and has a tremendous brand-new book about the whole experience in Hell’s Canyon called Temperance Creek you must read if you like adventure + love stories. And bad ass women.}

Joe's Special melted cheese

All you do to maintain your cast iron is oil it lightly and keep it clear away from water.

To scrub off any foods, use kosher salt and a paper towel then wipe with a sheen of oil. For stuck-on foods, simmer one inch of water in the pan and then scrape it off the bottom with a metal spatula and dump the resulting ickiness.

Or, if it really needs washing–and I mean, really–then use the minimum amount of dish soap and warm water, then put the pan over low heat until it is bone dry and give it another rub with oil.

Here’s my post on the truth about washing cast iron. And my friend Becky has a whole video on cast iron pan care on her new YouTube channel to check out.

Oh, heck, why are we talking about doing dishes? Let’s get down to business!

Joe's Special ready to eat

Please pass the hot sauce, it’s high time to eat. And eat well!


and become a forager

Joe's Special Skillet Eggs

An anytime-you're-hungry kind of meal, Joe's special goes with toast and coffee as easily as salad and a beer. Since this classic skillet supper dates back to 1920s, there are many variations in the method--but the four key ingredients never vary. So my preference is to make it a little bit more like a frittata than a scramble, and I go heavy on the spinach because you can never have too many spring greens IMHO.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 417kcal
Author Lynne


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 12 ounces ground beef grassfed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram or oregano
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound fresh spinach or 1 (10-ouncbag frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained
  • 10 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce or soy sauce
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese


  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high. When it shimmers add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, about 6 minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms and leave them to cook until they release their liquid and brown in spots, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the ground beef, break it up with a wooden spoon, and season it with the garlic, marjoram, salt, and pepper. Cook, continuing to break the ground beef until it is evenly browned, about 4 minutes.
  • Mound the spinach on top of the beef, cover, and steam until the spinach wilts. Uncover, stir the spinach into the ground beef, and cook until the pan is nearly dry.
  • Reduce the heat to low and preheat the broiler. Beat the eggs in a bowl with the fish sauce. Pour the eggs into the skillet, allow the eggs to set on the bottom of the skillet for 1 minute, and then stir to make large curds with puddles of eggs in between. Leave the eggs to set on the bottom for 1 minute longer then stir once more.
  • Turn off the heat but leave the skillet on the burner. Sprinkle on the cheese and place the skillet under the broiler until the eggs are no longer liquid and the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.


Calories: 417kcal

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