Advantages: They are a great complement to the rest of your meal
Here is my recipe for perfect roast potatoes. To serve 4 you will need about 2lbs of the cheapest potatoes from your supermarket or greengroces. I don't feel you need to worry about the type of potatoe. What is important for me with roast potatoes is that they are crisp and crunchy on the outside and delicately soft and fluffy on the inside - roast potatoes, for me, dont add taste to your roast dinner, they add contrasting textures.
Bring a large pan half filled of salted water to the boil. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
Whilst pan is coming to the boil peel the potatoes, chop them into small lumps a little smaller than a golf ball.
immerse the potatoes into the boiling water.
Place roasting tray with about half an inch of vegetable oil or sunflower oil into a hot oven
Boil spuds till they are just soft enough NOT to break up.
Drain the potatoes, put them back in the pan and shake them vigourously and score them with a fork.
this gives the potatoes a rough texture - it is this texture which will crisp up nicely, and of course they are on their way to being soft and fluffy inside having been pre-boiled.
Bring out hot roasting tray and carefully place the spuds into the hot oil, leaving about an inch between them if you have the room. If you have any 'little bits' of potato from when you shook them, put them in as well
Put the spuds back in the oven for 15 minutes.
After fifteen minutes, take spuds out, turn them and baste them. If the 'little bits look brown and cooked, put them in a separate tray, cover with foil and place these on the bottom oven and place the spuds (uncovered) back on the top oven.
Another fifteen minutes and you should have, roasters with crisp edges and crunchy skins, with lovely soft insides, and don't forget the 'little bits' to soak up the gravy at the end.
Summary: Most satisfactory
Image taken from Jim Moran's Flickr account under the creative commons scheme