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Crowd-Pleasing Recipes

Feature: Long Read
Words by Emilie Dock

As winter stalks closer, we find ourselves craving hearty, home-cooked food – and lots of it. If you’re cooking for a family, or a gathering of friends, you’ll be looking for easy-to-follow, crowd-pleasing recipes. With dishes that can be prepared, for the most part, in advance – like the three we’ve picked out below. Worthy of festive celebrations, our three-course menu is packed full of flavour and sure to impress, but it won’t leave you slumped on the sofa. Leaving plenty of time for cocktail hour…

Creamy Crab Gratin

Incredibly quick to make, these mini crab gratins come out golden, bubbling and irresistible.
Serves 4 as a starter

Crab Gratin Recipe

Recipe by Seiko Hatfield

2 tbsp butter 
½ white onion, peeled and finely chopped 
20ml cream sherry 
4 tbsp plain flour 
400ml milk
200g day-old white bread, with crust removed 
40g Parmesan, grated 
1 tbsp butter, melted 
1 tbsp mild olive oil 
2 tbsp parsley, chopped 
100g mixed brown and white crabmeat 
200g white crabmeat 
60g vintage Cheddar grated 
Extra flat-leaf parsley, to serve 

Harrods Chardonnay 2015
Wine Pairing
Harrods Chardonnay 2015

Crab meat is so delicate you don’t want to overpower it, plus you need enough acidity to complement its subtle sweetness. With just a lick of oaky spice and lots of refreshing acidity, this Chardonnay is the perfect match.

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Moroccan Spiced Duck Pie

Warming spices, dried apricots and a hint of honey sweetness work beautifully with game (available from the Food Halls), and bring brightness to the darkest of winter days.    
Serves 4–6

Moroccan Spiced Duck Pie

Recipe by Rosie Reynolds

2 mallard ducks (total weight about 1.6kg) 
2½ tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp dried chilli flakes
½ tsp allspice and ground ginger
25g butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
75g dried apricots, roughly chopped
50g toasted flaked almonds
1 tbsp honey
50ml good chicken stock
Coriander and flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 egg, beaten
Premade shortcrust pastry

Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru Toussaints Pinot Noir 2016
Wine Pairing
Louis Jadot Beaune 1er Cru Toussaints Pinot Noir 2016

There’s something rather exotic and fragrant about a Moroccan dish, and this delicious Pinot Noir evokes similar nuances. There’s plenty of fruit in this Beaune from Louis Jadot, which balances beautifully with the richness of the duck and the aromatics of the pie.

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Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffles

The trick here is to use premium-quality chocolate, like our exclusive single-estate varieties, and keep at least three aside for the chef.
Makes approximately 30

Salted Caramel Chocolate Truffles

Recipe by Seiko Hatfield

For the caramel filling:
30g unsalted butter 
120g dulce de leche 
¼ tsp Maldon sea salt, finely crushed
20g white chocolate, finely chopped

For the ganache: 
100ml double cream 
20g unsalted butter 
220g dark chocolate, finely chopped 
1 tbsp brandy

For the coating: 
150g dark chocolate 
150g milk chocolate

Harrods 10-Year-Old Tawny Port
Wine Pairing
Harrods 10-Year-Old Tawny Port

During the festive season it somehow feels essential to open a good bottle of Port. Most have tried it with Stilton, but chill this Tawny down in the fridge for an hour and it makes a wonderful pairing to salted-caramel chocolate truffles. Rich. Nutty. Divine.

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Tableware setting for Home Entertaining

Home Entertaining

Home is where the party is this festive season. Memorable meals, epic game nights and intimate cocktails make staying in the new going out.