Two to three days before serving, wipe the meat with a damp cloth, then place in a large plastic bag.
In a large bowl, thoroughly combine vinegar, cola, water, onions, celery, carrots, pepper, cloves, bay leaves, sugar and salt; pour over meat.
Fasten bag tightly and lay flat in a 9\" X 13\" pan.
Refrigerate, turning bag each day.
(If you like sour sauerbraten, let marinate for 4 days.)
When ready to cook, remove meat (saving marinade) and dry well.
Rub the surface lightly with flour.
In a dutch oven, heat oil and slowly brown the meat well on all sides.
Add 1 cup of the marinade liquid plus some of the vegetables and bay leaves.
Cover tightly and simmer on surface heat or in a preheated 350 oven for 3 to 4 hours until the meat is fork tender.
If needed, add more marinade during the cooking time to keep at least 1/2 inch liquid in the dutch oven.
Remove the meat and keep warm until ready to slice.
Into a large measuring cup, strain the drippings.
Add several ice cubes and let stand for a few minutes until the fat separates out.
Remove the fat, then make the gravy.
TO MAKE THE GRAVY: In the dutch oven, combine the gravy ingredients, stir and cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat until gravy has thickened.
Taste for seasonings and adjust if necessary.
This makes about 3 cups of gravy.
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