Place the beef roast in a deep ceramic or glass bowl. Add onions, peppercorns, cloves, and bay leaf. Pour white vinegar and cider vinegar over the meat; chill, covered, for 4 days. Turn meat twice each day.
Remove the meat from the marinade, dry it well with paper towels, and strain the marinade into a bowl. Reserve onions and 1 cup marinade.
In a Dutch oven brown the meat on all sides in hot vegetable oil.
Sprinkle meat with salt. Pour boiling water around the meat. sprinkle in crushed gingersna ps, and simmer covered for 1 1/2 hours. Turn often.
Add 1 cup of reserved marinade and cook meat 2 hours or more, until tender.
Remove the meat and keep it warm. Strain the cooking juices into a large saucepan.
In a small bowl mix sour cream with flour. Stir it into the cooking juices and cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened and smooth.
Slice meat in 1/4 inch slices; add to hot gravy.
Arrange meat on a heated plater and pour extra sauce over it.