Dreams Do Come True
By Meda Kessler
Photos by Meda Kessler
Linda Shelar vividly remembers her dream about brisket, frozen biscuits and butter.
To us, that sounds like a delicious way to wake up. For Shelar, it jump-started a new career.
“I had been writing for seven years, mainly for small businesses and websites. Most of it was one-off work, but I didn’t really enjoy it, especially the selling part. I wanted to be creative in a different way.”
She says she literally asked God to point her in a different direction. And then she had the dream.
A home cook and baker, she had her mom’s recipe for buttermilk biscuits and researched how to flash freeze them and reheat the dough. She ended up tweaking the ingredients, substituting unsalted butter for the lard. “Grating butter into the mixture helps make the biscuits fluffier.”
For her original brisket, she had a friend who could provide her with smoked meat. All that was left was to come up with the compound butters. “I think about flavors all the time. I’d get in the shower and think about what new biscuit would go best with such-and-such butter.”
July marks the two-year anniversary for Shelar and her Grapevine-based TX Brisket Biscuit. She survived the COVID-related slowdown and found a welcome outlet in Grapevine, Flower Mound, Dallas and area farmers markets including a couple in Fort Worth.
“A local distributor was interested in carrying the biscuits, but the pandemic shut down their business. The pause gave me time to fine-tune what I was doing in an unexpected way.”
Shelar bakes out of a conveniently located and affordable catering kitchen in Grapevine, one close to her house where she has 24-hour access. (You never know when you might come up with a new flavor that needs testing immediately.) She has access to everything she needs and has hired a kitchen assistant. “The hardest part was that I bought a lemon of a freezer; it stopped working on the first day.”
With her chilling capabilities now under control, Shelar stays busy enough to make TX Brisket Biscuit her full-time job. She’s up to 12 take-and-bake flavors both sweet and savory. “I’m not afraid of flavor,” she says with a smile. “I like to come up with interesting combinations both for the biscuits and the butters.”
We’re talking white chocolate and blueberry biscuits with strawberry butter (The All Git-Out) and a honey goat cheese biscuit with a bit of cinnamon and Parker County peach butter (Oh, Honey!). The original biscuit features brisket with hickory-brown sugar barbecue butter spiked with a hint of chipotle pepper. One of our favorites is the High on the Hog, a roast pork and serrano pepper biscuit with charred pineapple butter. And we’ll warn you that you’ll want to eat the butter by itself with a small spoon. Mini biscuits also are available in certain flavors. And whether they’re big or little, they all have that slightly crunchy edge we like. Shelar also doesn’t skimp on the added ingredients.
Baking directions are included (follow closely because you don’t want to burn them), along with a reminder that you can cook them one at a time, if desired. Just keep the rest in the freezer. And do not let them thaw.
When she’s not baking, Shelar works in the garden and stays entertained by her rescue cats and dogs. She also loves checking out the Dallas Arts District, spending time with her grown daughters and road-tripping.
With the business turning 2, she’s looking forward to what lies ahead. “I try to live in the moment with a glimpse of the future. I’ve seen a lot of doors open, some larger than others. But I’ve always walked through them, and I think that has served me well. Whatever lies ahead will be my path for growth.”