Holy Mole! This Pressure Cooker Delights

All Clad Pressure Cooker
PHOTO: HEATHER GOESCH, MPH, RDN, LDN

Product Reviewed:
All-Clad PC8 Precision Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker

I was equally delighted and terrified at the proposal to review a pressure cooker. As someone who spends many hours in the kitchen, it was time to conquer my fear. The All-Clad PC8 Precision Stainless Steel Pressure Cooker — with not one, not two, but five protections to ensure safety while cooking —helped me do exactly that, turning out low-and-slow-cooking recipes in a fraction of the time.

This stovetop product comes with a beautiful 8.4-quart stainless steel stockpot featuring wide handles and a heavy-duty base that can be used on any cooktop, including induction. Minus three easily removed pieces on the lid, the entire cooker is dishwasher-safe for easy clean-up. Four pre-programmed settings and a steaming trivet make it easy to prepare braises and roast meats, rice and beans, stews and stocks, vegetables and eggs – all of which and more can be explored in the included tip- and recipe-heavy guide.

Known for their ability to turn out low-and-slow-cooking recipes in a fraction of the time, the PC8-Precision pressure cooker is no exception. After familiarizing myself with what the series of beeps represented, I tested a variety of recipes. Traditionally long-braising beef short ribs were falling off the bone in less than an hour. Dried beans and hard-boiled eggs were perfectly done. Thai coconut chicken thighs tender and juicy. A mixed seafood paella turned out more like risotto, but was delicious all the same. The standout: smoked mole turkey breast that was started on the grill and finished in the pressure cooker. Using the All-Clad PC8-Precision, this lean, often dried-out portion was anything but, and burst with the flavors of smoke and our homemade mole – a Thanksgiving triumph that’s sure to make a repeat appearance on many more occasions.

The cost is definitely steep, but the high quality and versatility of this All-Clad piece make it an investment that will last for years and years. Its large capacity makes it ideal for families and those who frequently entertain. The ability to simply and quickly cook staples such as hearty whole grains and beans may be of particular benefit to vegetarians, vegans and the generally health-minded. And, for anyone minding calories or on a restricted fat diet, there is little to no need for added oils or fats with this high-pressure method.

The All-Clad PC8-Precision is a workhorse, and can be a practical (and not scary!) addition to any kitchen – from the everyday home cook to a professional chef. If you’re dubious, I recommend direct exposure therapy to allay your fears. It worked for me, and I’m hooked!

Smoked Mole Turkey Breast with Mole Sauce

Recipe by Heather Goesch, MPH, RDN, LDN

Ingredients

Mole Rub

  • 2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon yellow or brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano or marjoram
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ⅓ cup medium-hot chili powder
  • ¼ cup good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Apple Cider Brine

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
  • ½ green apple, unpeeled
  • ¼ navel orange, unpeeled
  • 1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds
  • 1 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • 3 cups ice cubes

 

  • 1 to 1½ pounds boneless, skinless turkey breast
  • 1 quart wood chunks or chips, such as hickory, apple or cherry
  • ½ cup apple cider or unsweetened apple juice

Directions

  1. To make mole rub: toast cumin, fennel and mustard seeds in a dry heavy-bottomed or cast-iron pan over medium heat until fragrant and beginning to smoke, about 5 minutes. Add seeds to the bowl of a spice grinder or small food processor and set aside to cool, 5 to 10 minutes. (You can also use a mortar and pestle to crush and combine everything by hand.) Add remaining ingredients and grind until you have a fine powder. The rub can be made up to 2 weeks in advance and stored, tightly covered, at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
  2. To make apple cider brine: In a large pot, combine all of the ingredients (except ice cubes) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar and salt, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the ice cubes. Let stand until completely cool, about 1 hour. Transfer to a large, deep, nonreactive container or large zipper-top bag that will hold the turkey breast. Add turkey breast to brine container a let sit for 4 to 6 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Remove turkey from the brine container to a rimmed plate or baking dish. Pat dry and discard the brine. Let the turkey rest, uncovered or lightly draped with a piece of plastic wrap, in the refrigerator 12 hours or overnight.
  4. Two hours before preheating the grill, place wood chunks or chips in a large container of water to soak.
  5. At least 1 hour before grilling, use your hands to fully coat the turkey with the mole rub (reserving at least ⅓ cup of mole rub for use later). Return the rubbed turkey to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Then, allow it to rest at room temperature for another 30 minutes as you prepare the grill.
  6. If using a gas grill, about 20 minutes before grilling, preheat grill for indirect, medium-low heat (about 250°F to 275°F). Drain the wood chunks or chips. Fold a large piece of heavy-duty foil in half. Transfer the drained wood chips to the center of the double-thick piece of foil, fold the edges up and crimp to form a sealed packet. Poke several holes in the top to allow smoke to escape. (You could also use a shallow disposable aluminum baking tray with a few holes poked in the bottom.) If your gas grill has a smoking box, place the chips directly into the box. Set the tray on a grill rack directly over one of the burners under the grill grate.
  7. If using a charcoal grill, build a fire and let it burn to medium ash with a faint glow (about 250°F to 275°F). Drain the wood chunks or chips. Add the drained chips directly on top of the coals.
  8. Brush the grill grate clean and coat it with a high-smoke-point oil. Place the rubbed turkey breast on the oiled rack, close the lid, and cook for about 1 hour. Turn once. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay around 250°F.
  9. Transfer the turkey breast to your unheated pressure cooker, with ⅓ cup of the remaining dry mole rub, ½ cup apple cider and ½ cup warm water. Lock the pressure cooker’s lid in place. Select the “Meat” program, set a cooking time of 15 minutes and follow the user manual’s instructions from there.
  10. When the final beep sounds, release the pressure and carefully remove the lid. Using an instant-read thermometer, the internal temperature should be 165° F (the temperature will rise another 5° to 10° F while resting). If it isn’t yet 165°F, return the cooker to medium-high heat, covered but unlocked, and cook for a few more minutes.
  11. After the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, remove to a clean cutting board and let it rest, tented with a piece of foil for 5 to 10 minutes.
  12. Prepare the sauce by continuing to cook the contents of the cooker over medium-high heat until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat, taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary. Transfer the mole sauce to a small dish for serving.
  13. After turkey has finished resting, slice the meat thinly. Serve meat with mole sauce. Serves 4 to 6.

Cooking Notes

  • Don’t be deterred by this recipe’s length! The steps are mostly hands-off and the reward is fantastic. Be sure to read the recipe all the way through first to ensure you have all of the ingredients on hand and ready when needed.
  • This recipe calls for a smaller-sized boneless, skinless turkey breast (we carved our own from a whole turkey). If yours is larger, simply double or triple the apple cider brine recipe to ensure the breast is completely submerged in liquid.
  • The smoky-spicy-chocolaty mole rub recipe makes more than enough for what you’ll need here. Store extra in an airtight container in the pantry or refrigerator for later use.
  • If you don’t have a grill, the turkey breast can be cooked entirely in the pressure cooker — simply increase the cooking time to 20 minutes.
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Heather Goesch

Heather Goesch, MPH, RDN, LDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist, freelance writer, recipe developer and nutrition consultant living on the southeastern coast of North Carolina. Read her blog for healthy, seasonal recipe inspiration, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn.