Ras el Hanout, common in North African cooking, is frequently used in Moroccan cuisine. The name in Arabic means “head of the shop,” and literally refers to the best spices the store has to offer.
Night before cooking --- Combine the Ras El Hanout, ginger, salt, black pepper, turmeric and saffron. Rub evenly over the meat. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
When ready to begin cooking, cover the raisins in water and set aside to rehydrate while the meat is cooking.
Mix the seasoned meat in a Dutch oven with the onions, garlic, butter and cinnamon sticks. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until meat is browned. Add the 3 cups of water. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2 hours or until the meat is tender. *If using chicken, reduce the cooking time to about 1 hour.
Drain the raisins and add to the pot with the honey and ground cinnamon. Add additional water if necessary to cover.
Partially cover the pot and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the raisins are plump and the sauce is reduced and thickened.
Discard the cinnamon sticks. Transfer the tagine to a platter and sprinkle with the toasted almonds. Serve with couscous.