Great recipe. I made it "as is" initially but found it was missing that certain-North-African something. Here are my modifications based on the fact I grew up eating and making this dish:
- Add 1/2 tsp of ground caraway and 1/2 tsp of allspice. This really adds that extra kick for those who are craving Restaurant quality North African cuisine.
- Don't bother with the saffron in the marination. Saffron is more expensive than gold, and it only releases flavor in liquid (warm water or broth). Using it in the meat marinade just lends color; the flavor (and cost) is lost (the turmeric will give enough).
- I cooked the onions, garlic and ginger and let them sweat before adding the raw meat; completely skipped the browning process. (We don't brown meat for stews in North Africa).
- I added homemade beef broth - it's not recommended to use chicken stock if dealing with a lamb dish. This is a big NO-NO in North African cuisine. Disregard my comment if you used chicken!
- I used preserved lemons instead of the lemon zest indicated in the recipe. These are hard to find based on where you are located; but not hard to make at home if you have time. I used half a preserved lemon, sliced it thinly and added it with the carrots.
- Lastly, if you have "Harissa", a Tunisian chili paste, I would recommend this mixed with regular tomato paste, over the sun-dried tomatoes. Please NOTE: Harissa is spicy so disregard if you are trying to tone it down.