4 cups onions (2 cups cut-up and 2 cups diced), divided
2 1/2 cups water, divided
1 cup each cut-up celery and carrots
1 small lemon, sliced
2 tablespoons chopped pared ginger root or 1 teaspoon ground ginger (or gingersnaps)
6 whole cloves
1 bay leaf
3 3/4 pounds boneless beef chuck, rump, or bottom round roast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar or dark corn syrup
2 packets instant beef broth and seasoning mix
In 1-quart saucepan combine cut-up onions, 1 cup water, celery, carrots, lemon and peppercorns, cloves and bayleaf; bring marinade to a boil. In 4-quart stainless steel or glass bowl pour marinade over beef; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 4 days, turning meat over once everyday and stirring the ingredients, rubbing the meat.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drain meat, reserving marinade and transfer meat to rack in roasting pan; strain marinade, discard solids and reserving liquid. Roast meat until rare, about 45 minutes.
In a 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven heat oil; add meat and cook until well browned on all sides. Remove meat from pan and set aside. In same pan saute diced onions until browned; spinkle with flour and cook, stirring constantly, for approximately one minute. Gradually stir in reserved marinade; add remaining 1 1/2 cups of water and the sugar (or syrup) and broth mix and, stirring constantly, bring to a boil.
Return meat to pan and reduce heat to a simmer; cover and let simmer until meat is tender, about 45 minutes, turning meat and stirring gravy several times during cooking. Adjust thickness of gravy with flour and broth if necessary. Serve meat thinly sliced with gravy.