At Ashby Inn, where Nathan Shapiro is the sous chef, the entire kitchen staff numbers three, Shapiro included. The team has found ways to capitalize on their labor, and a pressure cooker is one shortcut.

Shapiro, who worked at the Inn at Little Washington before joining the team at Ashby Inn, makes stocks and beans in the pressure cooker, but also uses the appliance to braise beef brisket, cooking the meat with caramelized onions, star anise, tomato paste and beef stock until the meat is spoon-tender and aromatic.

A marvelous one-pot feast with a little pressure? Count us in.