I see this instruction a lot in recipes. Why?
I was cooking pork belly recently, and I was supposed to let the meat cool to room temperature, then refrigerate it to allow for cleaner slicing. I think it was in one of Thomas Keller's recipes where a bowl of freshly made stock is supposed to be placed in an ice water bath, stirred to cool to room temp as quickly as possible, then placed in the fridge. Seems like a lot of extra work.
Why wouldn't I just put it in the fridge? Is it a matter of raising the temperature of the entire refrigerator? Is there some food safety issue I'm unaware of? I've heard/read about some stocks going "off" if cooled in anaerobic conditions, but my sense is that this is not a unilaterally held belief. And if that were the issue, why wouldn't the instructions address it as a sealed/unsealed situation?
Any insight on this?