Photo: John Cornyn/Twitter
We all wanted a drama-free, peaceful holiday last week. But on Christmas Eve around 7 p.m., U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas chose chaos.
The senior senator tweeted three simple words — “Brisket family tradition” — and a photo of what he claimed to be brisket. Instead of a delicious, moist slab of meat with a crusty bark, carved into slices that peel away enticingly, Cornyn’s rendition featured pieces piled on top of each other, suffocating in a glass oven dish.
What was visible of the meat looked dry as hell, and oh my God is that ketchup?!
Twitter erupted into an outraged frenzy, with many pointing out that Cornyn, a Texan representing Texans, should really know how to cook brisket — or at the very least know what a good one looks like.
Brisket family tradition pic.twitter.com/VbJry2rcfZ
— Senator John Cornyn (@JohnCornyn) December 25, 2020
The saga, now a “gate,” didn’t end there. When Cornyn noticed his cursed brisket tweet had gained some attention, he doubled down the next day … and blamed his wife.
“Brisket is serious business in Texas,” he tweeted on Christmas Day. “Actually, it is Sandy Cornyn’s family recipe. Best I have ever had.”
Who had Cornyn claiming his sad brisket is better than any pitmaster’s in Texas, a state that is literally home to the best barbecue in the entire goddamn world, on their 2020 bingo card?
Brisketgate earned reactions from some notable barbecue experts, including the Houston Chronicle’s very own J.C. Reid, who tweeted a “how it started-how it’s going” meme comparing the senator’s tragic brisket to the year 2020.
— J.C. Reid (@jcreidtx) December 25, 2020
On the third day of the scandal, the senator tripled down, sharing vague directions for how to cook brisket à la Cornyn, in case anyone felt like wasting an afternoon and a perfectly good piece of meat. The recipe says to “trim all visible fat.” Lord.
Cornyn also mentioned the puzzling stuff on the brisket is not ketchup but a “home made barbecue sauce.” The concoction looks like someone just spread pure tomato paste on the meat, or like whatever it is was left out for too long and had set the way stale sauce does on an abandoned plate. *Shudder*
At least one brave soul is willing to try it out: Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn, who has formally asked for Cornyn’s recipe. “My curiosity has outweighed my better judgement,” he tweeted earlier today.
Ok @JohnCornyn, if you send me that brisket recipe (Temp? Whole brisket or flat? Covered/uncovered? How many onion soup packets?), I’ll recreate it the best I can at home. My curiosity has outweighed my better judgement, and I gotta know how it tastes.
— Daniel Vaughn (@BBQsnob) December 28, 2020