1 1/2 lb onions, sliced thinly
1 pinch sugar
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 Tbsp flour
2 1/4 c brown ale (or beer of choice)
2 1/4 c beef broth
1/2 star anise
2 bay leaves
1. Heat butter in a large saucepan,add the onions and sugar and cook over a low heat for 45 minutes, stirring now and then, until soft and richly caramelized. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.
2. Stir in the beer, beef broth, star anise, cloves and bay leaves and boil vigorously until reduced to a rich, glossy sauce - about 20 minutes in a large sauté pan.
3. Remove the star anise, bayleaves and cloves from the gravy and season to taste with some salt and pepper.