Brown the meat in a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, in a little fat if necessary. Turn frequently. Add onions and brown lightly. Add water and salt. Cover, and cook over low heat for 2 1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Remove meat and keep warm. Skim fat from pan drippings; then stir lemon juice, brown sugar, and gingersnaps into pan juices. Cook 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with dumplings, if desired.