6 bacon slices, chopped into ¼-inch slices
½ large red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon aniseed
½ cup stout beer (or dark beer)
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup cherry tomatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large head of Bibb lettuce, washed and leaves torn
Sauté bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels and drain.
Reduce the skillet heat to moderate and leave approximately ⅓ of the bacon drippings in the pan. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
When the onion is ready, add the sugar and aniseed, and cook until the onion is caramelized. Deglaze the pan by adding the beer and balsamic vinegar, and simmer until sauce slightly thickens, about 3 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook until they are softened slightly but still firm, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
To serve, arrange the Bibb lettuce on a plate, and top with the tomato and vinaigrette mix. Sprinkle with bacon and serve.