I'm up real early here seeing if I the weather, tides, etc. are gonna be good for crabbing (Dungeness). This is about the last month they are good here... before they start to molt (shed their shell and grow into a new one). So, if I can get a crew I'll sail pretty soon.... In the meantime...
The "process" you mention surely sounds interesting. I'm not sure I could bring myself to spend $12-$15, or probably more, per pound for Prime grain fed rib eye beef (if I can even find some here) to test it
That said, what you're talking about here is beyond my level of knowledge and experience, so I'll dump what I know below, and then pass and leave it to some of the experts here.
From what I've read, heard, and experienced, collagen begins to break down at about 160 to 170 degrees... that's why when you're "Q'ing" a roast, your temperature will rise at a constant rate for awhile, then STALL for up to an hour or two at about 165 degrees F, then take off again.
This is 'cause the collagen (tough connective tissues in meat) releases water as it breaks down.. and that cools the meat. The meat temp won't begin to rise again until most of the collagen is broken down. Then the fat begins rendering as it cooks more. This might be the "gelatin" your friend was talking about.. I don't know.
But typically, before my meat becomes "fork tender", i.e. "pullable" for pork sandwiches, etc. I must reach 185-190 F for butt, and brisket sometimes must go higher. Depends on the "personality" of the meat. Cooking at 225 degrees, brisket might take 10 hours to reach that "stall point"... and sits there for a few hours, then it takes off again until I reach 190+ F or so internal temp and I can "fork" it.
That might be the process you're talking about.. I don't know... But I'm at a loss to figure how your friend can do that cooking at only 72C (160 F). He has to bring the meat temp to at least 160 to begin the collagen breakdown. Then again, not all collagen is created equal and could be the prime grade of beef is different...
Anyway.. Hey guy, this sounds very interesting. I'm going to pass giving it a try though. If I told any of my friends I "Q'ed" a PRIME grade of grain fed rib eye steak for 18 hours, they would have me committed... I'd try to tell them "that's how they do it in Australia" and on my way to the institution I'd tell them... "wait, there's more... THEN I seared it in butter on the grill" ... but I don't think it would work.
It's always interesting to hear from other parts of the world about some unique cooking techniques they have. Thank you for sharing.
On another forum, somebody was telling us how great it was to "deep fry" their prime rib roast (like you would deep fry your turkey)... I couldn't come to grips with that either.. but it's probably "good"? Don't know...