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Rinse beans. In a 4-1/2- to 6-quart Dutch oven, combine the beans and 6 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. (Or place beans in water in Dutch oven. Cover and let soak in a cool place for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.) Drain and rinse beans; set aside.
Sprinkle beef with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat oil in the same pot over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook about 5 minutes or until browned, turning once. Remove beef, reserving drippings in the pot.
Add onions, carrots, fennel (or celery) and garlic to the reserved drippings. Cook, covered, over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Return beans and beef to the pot.
Stir in the remaining 6 cups water, pork hocks, bay leaf, bouillon, dried thyme and dried rosemary (if using) and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 1 1/2 hours. Stir in undrained tomatoes. Simmer, covered, about 30 minutes more or until beans, beef and pork are tender.
Remove beef and pork; cool slightly. Remove meat from bones; discard bones. Cut meat into bite-size pieces; return to vegetable mixture. Remove and discard bay leaf. Skim off fat. Stir in spinach and, if using, fresh thyme and fresh rosemary; heat through.