If you’re leery of commercial corned beef — all those nitrites and who knows what else — you could make your own: Just buy a beef brisket, whip up a few gallons of brine, throw it together in a big plastic tub, and let it sit for a few days.
Or you could take yourself to Butcher Shop Market in the Adams Village neighborhood of Dorchester, where corning beef is in high gear in anticipation of the St. Patrick’s Day rush. Owner Alan Gibson, a native of Ireland who opened the shop in 2009, says that last year about 2,500 pounds of corned beef flew out the door for the holiday. While many customers order in advance, Gibson says, “We always carry a surplus amount. There are lots of last-minute shoppers, and we always make sure we have enough.”