In a skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until browned. Remove with slotted spoon to a 3-quart casserole.
Cook onions until tender (about 5 minutes). Remove with slotted spoon to casserole.
Over medium-high heat, cook beef a few pieces at a time, until browned on all sides. Remove with slotted spoon to casserole. If needed, add canola oil to the pan.
Over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of canola oil and flour. Stir constantly, until well-mixed and dark brown. Stir in beer and water. Cook until the mixture boils and thickens slightly. Add bouillon, bay leaf, sugar, salt, thyme leaves, and pepper.
Pour into the casserole and mix well. Bake, covered, in oven at 350 F for 1.75 hours. Stir occasionally. It is done when the meat is fork-tender.
Ladle fat from top of casserole. Add red wine vinegar. Remove bay leaf.