Spicy Chipotle Chili

I usually have a standard chili recipe that I use - have for over 20 years.  I rarely deter from it.   This last week, we were homebound, due to weather and with the bitter cold, going out and fetching for a few items just was not on the radar.   I was hungry for chili though and scoured the pantry.   I had made soup the day before and my favorite pot was in the outside fridge, so I had to find an alternative.   A friend had recently commented she had made her chili in her crockpot, so I thought, why not.  Now mind you, I am not a big crockpot person.  Its use, for me, has been confined to reheating and transporting, so this was another stretch from my comfort zone.   The recipe below is the result.

Mind you, my husband loves it, but he loves spicy food.  I loved it, but next time, for me (and as I have noted in the recipe) the fewer chipotles, the less spicy.

Spicy Chipotle Chili – Crockpot style

1.5 lbs ground beef (80/20) – I usually make this with 1.5 lbs of beef chunks, cut small, seasoned and slightly browned. 
1 large can diced tomatoes
1 med sweet onion chopped
2-3 T garlic paste
2 cans chili beans
I small can tomato sauce
3-4 chipotle peppers with sauce (I originally used a small can, with sauce.  As the chili cooked, it was apparent the chili was going to be tremendously spicy - so I removed over half the chili's).  
2 T paprika (season to taste)
2 T cumin (season to taste)
1-2 t kosher salt (season to taste)
1 T crushed oregano
1 t pepper
1 T sugar.

Crumble uncooked ground beef into crockpot.  Add, tomatoes, chopped onion, garlic, chili beans, tomato sauce and chipotle peppers with sauce into crockpot.  Sprinkle in paprika, cumin, salt, oregano, pepper and sugar.  Stir slightly.  Place lid onto crockpot, set to low.   If using the crumbled ground beef - Check on chili after first hour, to stir and break down the meat.   Cook for 6-8 hours, depending on crockpot. 

This is a HOT chili.  The number of chipotle peppers in sauce you use will determine the heat.  The more, the hotter.  It has a rich, almost BBQ flavor. 

Condiments:  Sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, green onions and crackers.