Tie the meat into a neat shape and put in a large pan with enough water to cover. Add the bay leaf, thyme, parsley and peppercorns, and bring to the boil. Skim, then simmer for one and a half hours. Add the whole onions, and the carrots cut in pieces, and cook for fifteen minutes. Make the dumplings by mixing the flour, finely-chopped suet and water into a firm paste, and rolling with the hands into eight round balls. Drop the dumplings into the liquid with the meat and vegetables and continue cooking for thirty minutes. Remove the meat to a serving dish, surround with the vegetables and dumplings, and serve some of the cooking liquid.