I would like to discuss one point about cooking meat at relatively high temperatures (very close or equal to 212 F or 100C) in moist environment.
We all know that at a certain temperature meat's fat is getting liquid, collagen shrinks and squeeze juices and fats out of meat. As a result, meat gets dry and has unpleasant texture similar to papier mache.
On the other hand, I know a number of traditional dishes when meat is cooked in a liquid at a temperature very close or equal to 212F (I saw a lot of bubbles on liquid's surface and sometimes measured it with thermometer). And at the end meat gets nice, tasty and moist. All of these dishes have some things in common - relatively small pieces of meat (about 1 - 2 inches), pretty long time of cooking (2-3 hours or even more) and the meat is usually lamb or soft cuts of beef.
As for me, I have a theory that due to a long cooking time and high temperature, connective tissues dissolve and stop squeezing fibers. At the same time, natural liquid inside of meat gets boiling, extend and separate fibers from each other. As a result, forces that keep fibers together are getting weak and cooking liquid is getting inside of meat pieces, making them moist.
I would be grateful if you'll share your opinion about this theory. I know, that it has some weak points, looks strange from common point of view and maybe I'm totally mistaken. But I don't have better explanation. :)
Thanks in advance,