1. Cover the beans in cold water and soak overnight. Drain and rinse the beans.
2. I n a large saucepan, fry the onions, garlic, green pepper, thyme and bay leaves over a moderate heat for about 5 minutes until soft. Add the drained kidney beans, ham hocks, and beef, if using, tomatoes, Scotch bonnet pepper, stock and creamed coconut.
Stir well to combine the ingredients.
3. Bring to the boil, cover and then simmer over a very low heat for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally until the beans are soft and tender. Be careful not to split the scotch bonnet pepper as the seeds are searingly hot.
4. Gently push the meat off the ham hock bone and discard the bone. Take out the Scotch bonnet pepper and, using a potato masher, crush up some of the tender beans to give the stew the required consistency.
Add the dumplings for another 20 minutes.
Serve and enjoy.
Mix all the dry ingredients together and bind with just enough water to make a stiff, soft dough. Shape into walnut sized balls and add to the stew 20 minutes before the end of cooking time.