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If you have time, season the pork skin the day before with salt, then put in the fridge, uncovered. If you want to get ahead, tip the potatoes into a large pan of cold, salted water, bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 8-10 mins until the potatoes are cooked all the way through but not falling apart. Gently drain the potatoes in a colander, but don’t shake them or ruffle them up – just leave them to drain and cool. Put them in the fridge, uncovered, until ready to roast.
To make the stuffing, heat the butter in a saucepan and cook the onion for 10 mins until soft and golden. Tip the onions into a bowl with the all the other ingredients and season with lots of black pepper. Scrunch everything together with your hands and chill until needed.
To stuff the pork, get a long-bladed knife like a carving knife and create a large pocket between the eye of the meat and the bones. Turn the blade of the knife to open up the cavity. You might need to go in at both ends. Use your fingers to push in as much of the stuffing as you possibly can, pushing it right down into the cavity.
Heat the oven to 240C/220C fan/gas 9. If you haven’t already parboiled the potatoes, do so now (see step 1). Sit the pork in a shallow roasting tin (season if you haven’t done it the day before), drizzle the skin liberally with sunflower oil and put it in the oven for 20 mins. Lower the heat to 200C/180C/gas 6 and continue to roast the pork for 1 hr, basting the skin occasionally with the fat from the tin. Remove the tin from the oven and you should have a nice layer of fat in the bottom. Baste the pork again, then carefully pour the fat into another roasting tin and add the potatoes. Use a spatula to turn them in the fat so they are completely coated and put back in the oven for 40 mins, by which time the pork skin should have crackled and the potatoes begun to turn golden. Transfer the pork to a board, uncovered, and leave to rest for 20 mins.
While the pork is resting, turn the potatoes, then score a line around each apple and sit them in the sticky pork tin. Dot them with half the butter and roast for 20 mins until they are soft. By then, the potatoes should be golden too.
Heat the remaining butter in a pan until sizzling and fry the sage leaves, turning, until crisp, then transfer to a piece of kitchen paper to drain. To serve, arrange the potatoes and apples around the pork and scatter with the crispy sage leaves. Carve the pork into chops.
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