All meat contains enzymes called cathepsins, which can break collagen down into gelatin. According to Harold McGee, cathepsins are inactivated at temperatures above 122ºF/50ºC. This is why slow roasting works; it maximizes the amount of time the meat spends under 122ºF, thus allowing the cathepsins and other enzymes to work their biochemical magic on the meat's connective tissue.
When slow roasting lean cuts of beef or game the goal is to walk the internal temperature of the meat up quite slowly to the target temperature (I go for 135º F), keeping it under 122ºF for as long as possible. For the sake of safety and texture, beef is usually cooked to about 130-140ºF (rare to medium rare).
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