To make your own, start with a boneless cut of meat. If it is an inch (2.5 cm) thick or more, consider cutting that in half first. Use the smooth end of a meat mallet to pound with (not the rough end — that is for tenderizing.) You can pound the meat as is on a cutting board; some people like to place it between sheets of plastic wrap or waxed paper. The recipe you are preparing the meat for will tell you how thin to get the meat. Usually, for instance, you make pork, beef, chicken and turkey paillards about 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) thick. If you don’t have a meat pounder, you can use a rolling pin, a heavy bottomed pan such as a cast iron one, etc — anything safe that makes sense. Stomping on it with your boot probably would not.
In some recipes, Paillard is used to refer to a boneless fish fillet. When fish is made into a Paillard, the pounding to make it thin is unnecessary.
Paillards cook very rapidly; don’t overcook them or they turn leathery. Paillards are usually grilled, barbequed or sautéed.
Paillard was a man who owned two chic restaurants in Paris in the late 1800s. His way of preparing and serving veal became very popular, and the technique was named after him.
Paillard in French actually means “ribald”.